The fifth richest man in China has antagonized the Chinese state authorities in 2020, saying that government regulatory mechanisms prevent innovation and technological development. Then the richest Chinese man at that time completely disappeared from public life for more than a year after criticism, and his companies could not enter the stock exchange. Ma was also replaced as a judge on the TV show “African Business Heroes”. It is not known whether he was ordered to refrain from public speaking, or if he preferred to withdraw out of fear for his safety.
Since then, Ma has been seen sporadically, but now appears to be free to roam. He first appeared on a golf course near Prague, and then in a restaurant in Austria. In the Netherlands, he learned about sustainable farming, and in Mallorca he moored in the harbor with his yacht. However, this newfound freedom has its effect.
Ma will hand most of his control over to Ant Group, a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group focused on financial technology. Now he has 50.28 percent of the voting rights in it, but in the future his share will not exceed 8.8 percent. This will be done by transferring Mao’s stake into the hands of executives so that a multi-member committee can decide on the company’s actions, according to Bloomberg sources. “So, a significant risk in Jack Ma’s person will be removed from the hump of Ant’s group,” Justin Tang, head of Asia research at United First Partners, told Bloomberg.
The work of the company itself will not be disrupted in any way, according to Bloomberg, Ma has not been significantly involved in decisions about how it will operate for a long time. The same is true of Alibaba itself, who resigned from the leadership position in 2013 and from the position of president in 2019.
This was also confirmed by Jian Shi Curtisi, investment director at GAM Investments. “Jack Ma did not have a position at Alibaba. I don’t see any reason why this should have a significant impact on the company’s operations. However, a positive effect here may be that investors will focus more on developing the company than on Jack Ma himself.” .
However, these changes may affect the company’s expected initial public offering of shares. Chinese regulators insist the company cannot offer shares for purchase if the majority shareholder in the company has changed hands in the past three years. However, the company will not be negatively affected by this waiting period, according to Justin Tang, head of Asia research at United First Partners.
2015 Interview with Jack Ma
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