Alibaba founder Jack Ma becomes Asia's richest person, surpassing HK tycoon Li Ka Shing

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has added US$25 billion to his fortune this year, riding a 54 per cent surge in the company's shares since its September initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. -- PHOTO: AFP
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has added US$25 billion to his fortune this year, riding a 54 per cent surge in the company's shares since its September initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Mr Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group, has become the richest person in Asia.

The 50-year-old founder of China's biggest e-commerce company surpassed Hong Kong property tycoon Li Ka Shing, who used to hold the top spot, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He has a US$28.6 billion (S$37.6 billion) fortune, according to the Bloomberg ranking. Mr Li has a net worth of US$28.3 billion.

Mr Ma has added US$25 billion to his fortune this year riding a 54 per cent surge in the company's shares since its September initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. At that scale, Alibaba is on the verge of becoming one of the 10 most valuable companies in the world.

Alibaba, whose online marketplaces - Taobao and Tmall - had 307 million active buyers in China as of September, saw revenue rise to 16.8 billion yuan (S$3.6 billion) between July and September, according to Bloomberg.