On July 27, the company announced it filed its annual report, on Form 20-F, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
The 2021 annual report shows that the company’s founder, Jack Ma, is no longer listed as a shareholder. While Joseph Tsai, the executive vice-chairman, currently holds 306,883,064 common shares, accounting for 1.4 percent of shares, all directors and executives as a group hold 497,457,680 common shares, accounting for 2.3 percent, and SoftBank, its largest shareholder, holds 5,390,066,968 common shares, accounting for 24.8 percent.
In contrast, Alibaba’s 2020 annual report showed Ma holding 1,043,831,112 common shares, 4.8 percent of shares; executive vice-chairman Joseph Tsai held 1.6 percent; all directors and executives held 7.4 percent, and SoftBank held 24.9 percent.
Comparing the two reports, Ma appears to have lost over 1 billion shares in Alibaba since last year. The annual report did not disclose the time, price, or reasons for the change. Based on Alibaba’s $500 billion market value, the value of those shares is approximately $24 billion.
In a further comparison, the annual reports from 2019 and 2020 showed Ma reduced his holdings by 1.4 percent (from 6.2 percent to 4.8 percent), by cashing in $6.6 billion worth of shares. And in 2021, Jack Ma appeared to have cashed in all of his remaining shares.
Jack Ma stepped down as executive chairman of Alibaba in September 2019 and continued to serve on Alibaba’s board until the annual general shareholders’ meeting in 2020.
After the initial public offering (IPO) of Ant Group, an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group, was scuttled by the Chinese Communist Party’s regulators, Jack Ma has rarely appeared in public.