According to the company’s annual filing, Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding has reduced his shareholding in the company to 4.8% from 6.4% over the past year. He has cashed out around $9.6 billion at its current share price.
Ma retired as Executive Chairman of China’s e-commerce company in September last year and withdrew from formal business roles to focus on philanthropy. The divestment, which is the action or process of selling off subsidiary business interests or investments, follows this.
The average selling price of his divestment was not disclosed by Alibaba. Meanwhile, its share price has risen by about 40% after Ma announced his 6.4% stake in the company a year ago.
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stock’s stellar success has been powered by its forecast-beating earnings rise as more citizens shop online for necessities, even as China’s economy has slowed sharply.
During the same time period, Alibaba Executive Vice President Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company from 2.3% to 1.6%. As of Friday, the offloaded shares were worth $4.1 billion.
Since Daniel Zhang was named as Ma ‘s successor as company chairman and formally assumed the position in September 2019, both Ma and Tsai have become increasingly less active in Alibaba’s daily operations.
Throughout this year, the two donated millions of personal protective equipment (PPE) units to hospitals worldwide through their respective charity arms to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
A filing April 2019 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that within one year Ma would plan to sell up to 21 million shares to support his philanthropic efforts.