FILE PHOTO – Jack Ma, founder and CEO of China̵
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Jack Ma, has reduced its stake in the company over the past year to 4.8% from 6.2% and paid about $ 8.2 billion at the current share price, the company’s annual application was released on Friday showed.
The divestment comes when Ma retired as the Chinese e-commerce company’s executive chairman in September, retiring from formal business roles to focus on philanthropy.
Alibaba did not disclose the average sale price for his sale. Its share price has risen by about 40% since Ma reported its 6.2% stake in the company a year ago.
The stellar performance of the stock has helped forecast growth, even as China’s economy declines sharply, as more people shop online for essentials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alibaba Vice President Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company during the same period to 1.6% from 2.2%. The unloaded shares were worth $ 3.3 billion as of Friday.
Both Ma and Tsai have been steadily less involved in Alibaba’s regular operations since Daniel Zhang announced Ma’s successor as the company’s chairman. He formally assumed that role in September 2019.
During these years, the two donated millions of personal protective equipment (PPE) units through their individual charity arms to hospitals worldwide to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
An April 2019 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Ma plans to sell up to 21 million shares within a year to support his philanthropic efforts.
(This story corrects Jack Ma’s share sales to $ 8.2 billion, his original stake to 6.2%, Tsai’s sales to $ 3.3 billion and his original stake to 2.2%.)
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Christopher Cushing