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Jack Ma cashes out $9.6bn from Alibaba

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has cut his stake in the company over the past year to 4.8% from 6.4%. Photo: Thibault Camus/AP

Co-founder of Chinese online marketplace Alibaba (BABA) Jack Ma has cashed out around $9.6bn (£7.6bn) from the company at its current share price over the past year, according to the firm’s annual filing released on Friday (10 July).

The divestment has cut Ma’s stake in the company to 4.8%, from 6.4% last year.

Alibaba did not reveal the average selling price of Ma’s divestment. The company’s share price has risen around 40% since Ma reported his 6.4% holding in the company a year ago.

The company has experienced forecast-beating earnings growth, despite a sharp slowdown of China’s economy due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is partly due to a boom in online shopping in China as people lockdowns were enforced across the country.

READ MORE: Alibaba's Chinese billionaire co-founder donates coronavirus test kits to US

Ma stepped down from the executive chairman role of the e-commerce company in September in order to focus on philanthropic projects.

In March, Ma sent a shipment of surgical masks and coronavirus test kits to the United States, pledging to donate 500,000 testing kits and one million masks to America.

Ma and Alibaba’s executive vice-chairman Joseph Tsai have donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) via their individual charity arms to hospitals across the globe to help tackle the spread of COVID-19.

Tsai has also cut his stake in Alibaba over the past year, from 2.3% to 1.6%, offloading shares worth $4.1bn.

Both Ma and Tsai have steadily pulled back from Alibaba’s regular operations and formal business roles since Daniel Zhang took over as company chairman in September 2019.

READ MORE: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma resigns from SoftBank amid historic losses

Ma said he planned to sell up to 21 million shares within one year to support his philanthropic efforts, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2019, Reuters reported.

In May, Ma also resigned from the board of Japanese tech company SoftBank (SFTBY) as the firm reported historic losses.