Jack Ma Loses $1.4b as Stocks Drop
Jack Ma’s fortune dropped $1.4 billion Thursday, the most among the world’s 400 richest people, as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. shares posted a record slump after the company missed revenue estimates.
The decline allowed property tycoon Wang Jianlin to recapture the title of China’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, placing him $400 million ahead of Ma, who’s worth $26.3 billion.
Ma, the 50-year-old chairman of the world’s largest collection of e-commerce websites, has seen his net worth fall $4.1 billion since Alibaba closed at a record Nov. 10.
“I think Jack Ma’s fortune has a lot of room to grow,” said Wang Weidong, an analyst at IResearch, a Shanghai-based Internet consulting firm. “He still has a lot of assets whose value haven’t been fully unlocked.”
Alibaba revenue was 26.2 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) in the third quarter, compared with the 27.6 billion-yuan average of 25 analyst estimates. Ads on mobile phones generate less money than those on desktop computers because of their smaller screens, and transactions on the Tmall platform grew at a slower pace, the Hangzhou-based company said Thursday.
Alibaba shares fell 8.8 percent to $89.81 at the close in New York yesterday, the lowest since Oct. 20, a month after its trading debut.
Wang’s flagship property company and cinema operator sold shares in two public offerings in the past month. Wanda Cinema Line Co. has more than doubled since it started trading Jan. 22 on the Shenzhen exchange.
“One’s involved in the online economy, and one’s in the offline economy, so they’re different,” said Wang. “The wealth ranking depends on changes in the market. It’s volatile.”
Ma had become China’s richest person ahead of Alibaba’s initial public offering in September 2014. He briefly overtook Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing as Asia’s richest, riding a surge in Alibaba stock, which jumped as much as 75 percent after the stock sale.
More than half of Ma’s wealth comes from his 6.3 percent stake in Alibaba, valued at $14 billion. Almost all of the billionaire’s shares are controlled through two British Virgin Islands-based holding companies. He also holds shares in a Cayman Islands entity he controls with Joseph Tsai.
Tsai, the company’s executive vice chairman, lost $547 million yesterday, taking his net worth down to $5.8 billion.
Ma also controls almost half of Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co., a closely held finance unit and owner of Alipay, a service similar to PayPal.