• Willow Oak Advisory

Jack Ma loses nearly $11 billion as China tightens scrutiny on his business empire

China’s regulatory crackdown on Jack Ma’s businesses, including e-commerce giant Alibaba and online payments platform Ant Group, has wiped around $11 billion from his fortune in just two months.

(RT) Jack Ma’s net worth tumbled to $50.9 billion against a peak of $61.7 billion seen earlier this year, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index. The recent losses knocked him into 25th spot on the list of the world’s 500 richest people and he is now fourth among China’s billionaires. The 56-year-old businessman now lags behind Nongfu Spring founder Zhong Shanshan, the founder of online marketplace Pinduoduo, Colin Huang, as well as Tencent’s Pony Ma.

The tech mogul’s troubles began as the massive listing of the fintech company he co-founded, Ant Group, was abruptly suspended in November. The failed dual-listing in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, which was meant to make history as the world’s largest IPO, sent shares of Alibaba plunging. Alibaba, which was also founded by Ma, owns roughly a 33 percent stake in Ant Group.

Both companies have faced tougher scrutiny since the sudden IPO suspension. Last week, China’s antitrust regulator opened an investigation into Alibaba over suspected monopoly practices that forced merchants selling their goods on Alibaba to avoid rival platforms. The company’s stock tumbled again following the news, but has managed to reverse some losses since then. It was trading six percent higher in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Ant Group, which runs Alipay, the largest mobile payments system in China, was simultaneously summoned by China’s central bank and other regulatory agencies. After the meeting that took place on Saturday, the central bank signaled that it wants the platform to overhaul some of its operations as it ordered the company to “return to its origins” as a payment services provider. It also said that the group must improve corporate governance and “strictly rectify illegal credit, insurance and wealth management financial activities.” The firm has already vowed to “fully implement” the regulator’s requirements.

Despite Beijing’s attempts to tighten control on the fintech industry and the coronavirus crisis, the country's tech billionaires still won big this year. Even given the latest drop, Ma’s fortune got $4.3 billion bigger in 2020, while the net worth of China’s 21 tech billionaires included in the Bloomberg index jumped by $187 billion.

63/66 Hatton Garden

Fifth Floor, Suite 23



United Kingdom

+44 (0) 203 633 6961

  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle

​This website should not be regarded as an offer or solicitation to conduct investment business. Past performance of investments is not necessarily indicative of future performance. The value of investments may fall as well as rise and the income from investments may fluctuate and is not guaranteed. Clients may not recover the amount invested. The investments mentioned on this website are not suitable for all types of investors. Investment advice should always be sought from a qualified investment adviser before any investment is made.

Trading and investing can be a challenging and potentially profitable opportunity for investors. However, before deciding to participate in the market, you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. Most importantly, do not invest money you cannot afford to lose.

There is considerable exposure to risk in any investment transaction. Any transaction involving securities involves risks including, but not limited to, the potential for changing political and/or economic conditions that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency. Investments in speculation may also be susceptible to sharp rises and falls as the relevant market values fluctuate. The leveraged possibility of trading means that any market movement will have an equally proportional effect on your deposited funds. This may work against you as well as for you. Not only may investors get back less than they invested, but in the case of higher risk strategies, investors may lose the entirety of their investment. It is for this reason that when speculating in markets it is advisable to use only risk capital.

© Copyright 2021 Willow Oak Advisory. All Rights Reserved