China's crackdown on Alibaba's Jack Ma cost him $11 billion

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 30, 2020, 12:28 PM(IST)

Jack Ma Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Chinese tycoon Jack Ma’s fortune has been hit hard as Chinese authorities crack down on his empire

Chinese tycoon Jack Ma’s fortune has been hit hard as Chinese authorities crack down on his empire. According to Bloomberg, Jack Ma has lost $11 billion since China upped its scrutiny of tech giants in October.

56-year-old Ma’s net worth touched $61.7 billion this year, and was set to become Asia’s wealthiest person again. But now, his wealth has slipped to $50.9 billion, moving him to the 25th spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index owing to this. The Index is a list of the world’s 500 most rich people.

China has begun clamping down on big tech groups, including Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group. In November, Beijing pulled the break on the Ant group, which was supposed to be the world’s biggest IPO.

Also read: China pushes Ant Group overhaul in latest crackdown on Jack Ma

The Ant group is a Fintech company, controlled by China's richest man Jack Ma of the Alibaba fame. He wanted to take the Ant group public, and raise up to 37 billion dollars in the process. This would have been the largest IPO, or initial public offering in the world - bigger than the listing of Saudi Aramco.

But the Communist Party has dropped the axe on Ant. The Chinese government has suspended the public listing of this company, marking a big blow for Jack Ma - China's most celebrated entrepreneur. And, a member of the Communist Party. According to multiple claims, this was done because Ma was becoming bigger than the Chinese state itself.

The Ant group IPO was killed by Beijing at the 11th hour, which happened just two days before the company's stock was supposed to start trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Reportedly, the orders came straight from the top, which could potentially even mean President Xi Jinping himself. China said it wants to maintain the stability of the capital markets.

Also read: Why China turned against Jack Ma

“Here, what I can tell you is that the decision of suspension is relevant stock exchange department fulfilling its responsibility of self regulation. The decision (of suspension of the IPO) is made by relevant exchange institutes based on laws to better safeguard capital market stability and protect investor rights and interests”, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

Anywhere in the world, cancelling an IPO worth 37 billion dollars would shock the investors, and invite greater scrutiny. 

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