In the wake of a record antitrust fine slapped on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd by China, Mr Jack Ma’s fortunes increased by S$3 billion (US$2.3 billion), Bloomberg reported.
The depositary receipts of Alibaba in the US rose by 9.3 per cent on Monday (Apr 12), marking its biggest increase in nearly four years, and causing Mr Ma’s personal wealth to rise. Because of Chinese laws and trading regulations, investors can buy American depositary receipts, not stocks, in Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index says that his fortune is now at S$69.6 billion (US$52.1 million).
Bloomberg added that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. thanked the Chinese government and “investors breathed a sigh of relief”.
The antitrust fine of S$3.7 billion (US$2.8 billion) is lower than the amount that some investors had anticipated, having been based on only 4 per cent of Alibaba’s domestic sales in 2019. This is considerably lower than the 10 per cent that China’s laws permit.
According to Alibaba’s vice chairman, it also means that a radical overhaul of its e-commerce strategy is unnecessary, and the company’s CEO has said it is ready to move on.
Alibaba said in an open letter that it “would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service, and the critical oversight, tolerance and support from all of our constituencies have been crucial to our development. For this, we are full of gratitude and respect.”
Since China started taking anti-monopolistic measures, Mr Ma’s fortune has declined and the initial public offering (IPO) of his Ant Group Co was put on pause shortly before it was scheduled.
Once China’s wealthiest person, he has slipped down two spots and is now the third richest in the nation.
Bloomberg also reported that an order was issued by China’s central bank on Monday for Ant Group to be regulated by the central bank and for it to become a financial holding company. This will affect how quickly it can grow, how much money it can hold, as well as the plans for its IPO.
Pan Gongsheng, the vice-governor of the People’s Bank of China, said in a statement on Monday that Ant Group needs to face up to “serious problems” in its financial activities. Mr Pan underlined “the seriousness of its overhaul”, adding that financial regulators have summoned Ant’s executives.
Ant Group has said that it will follow the requests of the regulators.
In a statement, the company said,” Ant Group, in its entirety, will apply to set up a financial holding company to ensure our financial-related businesses are fully regulated.”
In Hong Kong on Tuesday (Apr 13) the shares of Alibaba opened 3.4 per cent higher.