Alibaba (BABA), the global leader by volume in the e-commerce sector, issued a record-shattering $25 billion IPO in September 2014. The company is likened to Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and Google all rolled into one.

The company announced its Q3 2018 earnings in December 2018. The global e-commerce company reported $17.057 million in revenues this quarter, compared to $12.761 million over the same period from the year before.

Alibaba has grown to be one of China's largest companies, with extensive influence in the world. It first gained control over the Chinese e-commerce market, with a reported 80% of online retail sales in China going through the company. It offers a suite of products for storefronts that want to compete in the e-commerce market. The company's key business segments include mobile media and entertainment, cloud computing, and core commerce, along with other developing initiatives.

Key Takeaways

  • Alibaba, one of China's largest companies, IPO'd in September 2014 with a record-breaking $25 billion.
  • Jack Ma is Alibaba's co-founder and chairman and is the largest shareholder, with 303.7 million shares.
  • Joseph Tsai, co-founder and vice chairman is the second-largest shareholder with 215.8 million shares.
  • Blackrock, T. Rowe Price, and Baillie Gifford round out the top five shareholders.

As of April 22, 2019, those business segments have earned the company a market capitalization of $484.15 billion. The company's shares stand at $185.38 as of April 22, 2019 market close, well beyond its post-IPO market price of $115, but still below its all-time high of over $205 achieved in June 2018.

Here are the Alibaba's five largest individual and institutional shareholders as of April 22, 2019, unless otherwise indicated.

Jack Ma

Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma is the largest individual shareholder of the company, with 303.7 million shares. This represents a total of 11.7% of shares outstanding.

In the early 1990s, Ma realized China lacked technology in the business world. He founded China Pages, one of China's first internet companies, which created a website for businesses, and then went on to work for an internet company that was backed by the Chinese government. It wasn't until 1999, though, that he decided to branch out on his own and co-founded Alibaba.

The company first developed its name in China before going global. In 2005, the company attracted the attention of Yahoo!, which took out a majority stake in the company.

Jack Ma is the 21st richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

According to Forbes, Ma has a net worth of $39.5 billion and is one of the wealthiest people in the world. He also owns stakes in Chinese companies. Huayi Brothers and Beijing Enlight Media. In 2018, Ma announced he planned to retire in 2019.

Joseph Tsai

Alibaba co-founder and vice-chairman Joseph Tsai is the second-largest shareholder in the company, with 215.8 million shares, or 8.4% of the outstanding stock.

Tsai is a Taiwanese-Canadian businessman who met Ma while working for the Hong Kong branch of an investment company. He quit his high-paying job so the two could work together to create an online import-export marketplace which would eventually become Alibaba.

According to Forbes, Tsai's net worth is $10.2 billion. He owns a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets National Basketball Association team and has two degrees from Yale.

Blackrock Inc.

The third-largest shareholder in Alibaba, with 67.7 million shares, is Blackrock. This represents 5.97% of shares outstanding as of the end of December 2018.

The global investment management firm is based in New York City and has 70 offices in more than 30 different countries. It was founded as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager in 1988. The firm reported $6.5 trillion in assets under management.

The company provides a range of financial services. But its largest division is iShares, with more than 800 exchange-traded funds (ETFs)—the largest ETF provider in the world.

T. Rowe Price Associates

T. Rowe Price is a global asset management firm that was founded in 1937. It offers a range of services including funds, account management, retirement plans, and advisory services for individuals, corporations, and other institutions.

The firm is headquartered in Baltimore and has offices in almost 50 countries. As of March 31, 2019, it had $1.08 trillion in assets under management. According to its website, the average investment experience of its advisors is 22 years.

T. Rowe Price owns 60.1 million shares of Alibaba, which represents 5.29% of outstanding stock.

Baillie Gifford & Company

With 47.3 million shares of Alibaba, Baillie Gifford & Company is the fifth-largest shareholder (and the third-largest institutional shareholder), representing 4.17% of outstanding shares.

Baillie Gifford was founded in 1907 and is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a private partnership with more than $260 billion in assets under management as of September 2018.