Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma sells shares worth $9.6b, stake dips to 4.8%

Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on the sidelines of the Xin Philanthropy Conference in Hangzhou, China, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd co-founder Jack Ma has cut his stake in the company over the past year to 4.8% from 6.4%, cashing out around $9.6 billion at its current share price, the firm’s annual filing released on Friday showed.

The divestment comes as Ma retired as the Chinese e-commerce company’s executive chairman in September and pulled back from formal business roles to focus on philanthropy.

Alibaba did not disclose the average selling price of his divestment. Its share price has risen around 40% since Ma reported his 6.4% holding in the company a year ago.

The stock’s stellar performance has been helped by forecast-beating earnings growth, even as China’s economy sharply slows, as more people shop online for essentials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company over the same period, from 2.3% to 1.6%. The offloaded shares were worth $4.1 billion as of Friday.

Both Ma and Tsai have been steadily less involved in Alibaba’s regular operations since Daniel Zhang was announced as Ma‘s successor as company chairman. He assumed that role formally in September 2019.

Throughout this year, the two have donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) via their individual charity arms to hospitals worldwide to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

An April 2019 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Ma would plan to sell up to 21 million shares within one year to support his philanthropic efforts.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.