Alibaba’s securities filing reveals that due to foreign ownership caps in China, buyers of Alibaba shares won’t actually own part of the company’s mainland assets, but will purchase part of a Cayman Islands-incorporated structure called Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that is entitled to a share of the profits of Alibaba’s Chinese operations. Ma and Xie will retain control of the company’s Chinese assets. At least one locality in China has declared the structure – known as a variable interest entity – to be illegal. Alibaba:
[…] there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, rules and regulations.
Ma tells CNBC that he is ‘honored and excited’ about the IPO:
What we’ve got is not the money, what we’ve got is the trust from the people … I’ve been thinking about the next five or 1o years, how I can make these shareholders happy.
The company will invest in its global operations:
There’s so many things we have to do with our ecosystem not only helping small businesses in China but helping small businesses in every country … I think the money will be spent there.
He says that while Alibaba’s story is Chinese, his hero is American:
The hero I had is Forrest Gump. I’ve been watching that movie for about 10 times … I watched the movie before I came here again [and it was] telling me that no matter what ever changed, you are you.
Ma says on a conference call that he plans to invest in Hollywood:
I want to come here looking for partners
Alibaba Film is in talks focused on buying a 34% stake in Lionsgate, but they are looking now for who they should be buying it from. Source:
And it’s not just Lionsgate they are talking to, so they are juggling a lot
The source says companies like Alibaba use a ‘Chinese abacus’ approach in deals:
People should be wary about assuming that these Chinese investors are just coming with the money… The Chinese abacus is always there, it’s not always evident, but it’s always there
Ma tops the magazine’s list of China’s richest people, with a Chinese record $19.5 billion. Forbes:
Up next: a higher profile for Alibaba’s payments affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group. Ma will also need to weave together more than a dozen investments–from a stake in a soccer team to a film production studio–that Alibaba made this year.
It notes he also has philanthropic interests including a board seat with The Nature Conservancy.
Ma says Chinese jiaoyu education system produces students that test better than anyone in the world in jiao – learning – but is lacking in yu – fostering or nourishing creativity:
I think China’s jiao is fine. The problem is with the yu. In terms of jiao, China’s students test better than anyone in the world, but yu is about fostering culture and emotional IQ.