It's well-known that leading U.S.-based technology companies have spawned a long list of billionaires. Among these companies are Facebook Inc. (FB), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL). But so has Asia's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), arguably the most successful internet company outside the U.S., which has played a large hand in making billionaires of at least ten other people, in addition to founder and chairman Jack Ma himself, Bloomberg reports. In the process, Ma has become one of the most famous tech entrepreneurs worldwide, alongside famous names such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, in addition to Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.
Wealthier Than 136 Countries
As of Monday morning in New York, Alibaba had a market capitalization of $483.6 billion, per Bloomberg Markets. In total, Ma and ten others associated with his company have combined wealth of nearly $100 billion as of Bloomberg's November 12 story, derived mainly from their stakes in Alibaba or from business generated by Alibaba for their own companies. This incredible sum, Bloomberg adds, exceeds the GDP of 136 countries. The wealthiest is founder Ma himself, worth about $47.4 billion according to Bloomberg's latest estimate as of today. Meanwhile, Alibaba co-founder and vice chairman Joseph Tsai has amassed an $11.5 billion fortune, also per Bloomberg.
Riding Jack Ma's Coattails
Two billionaires identified by Bloomberg are from fintech companies that support Alibaba. One is ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. Ltd. (6060.Hong Kong), which offers shipping return insurance to Alibaba's customers. The other is Qudian Inc. (QD),which offers loans to online shoppers. Meanwhile, six other billionaires are from shipping companies that Alibaba uses extensively to fulfill orders by customers of its core online shopping service.
The wealthiest of the latter six is Wang Wei, founder of S.F. Holding Co. Ltd (002352.Shenzen). His estimated net worth as of November 20 is $17.6 billion, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, down from the estimate of $20.1 billion given in Bloomberg's November 12 article, roughly in line with the 11% drop in S.F. Holding stock during this period.
Bloomberg did not identify the remaining two billionaires of the ten that it says are closely tied to Jack Ma and Alibaba. Meanwhile, Ant Financial Services Group, formerly known as Alipay, is an affiliate of Alibaba that controls more than 50% of China's $5.5 trillion mobile payments market, per an earlier Bloomberg story. Alibaba currently receives 37.5% of Ant's pretax earnings, and will get about 33% of the shares issued when Ant launches an IPO, Bloomberg adds. Ant may have created twelve or more additional billionaires, Bloomberg estimates.