Jack Ma's $8.2bn divestment: Good news or bad news?

2020/07/28 19:08

Today's Vocabulary

1. philanthropy (n)
the activity of helping the poor, especially by giving them  money


2.divestment (n)
the act of selling off a business or businesses, or of no longer investing money in something

3. stepped down (phr. v)
to reduce the amount, supply, or rate of something

4. holdings (n)
something valuable that is owned , especially investments in a company


5. upstart (n)
 a new competitor


Jack Ma's $8.2bn divestment: Good news or bad news?

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma cut his holdings in the e-commerce company to 4.8% from 6.2% over the past year, according to the company’s annual report released on Friday. At the current share price, the stake he sold would be worth around $8.2 billion. Ma, who is currently China’s second-richest person, with a net worth of $47.8 billion according to Forbes, retired from being Alibaba’s chairman last year to focus on philanthropy.

Ma’s divestment follows in the footsteps of several top executives at China’s tech and e-commerce giants including Tencent and Pinduoduo, even as the companies’ share prices rose sharply as the COVID-19 pandemic drove consumers online. Tencent founder and chairman Pony Ma sold about 14.7 million shares for HK$6.27 billion ($810 million) in the first half of 2020, while Tencent’s Martin Lau reduced his holding by HK$254 million. In July, Colin Huang, founder of e-commerce upstart Pinduoduo, stepped down as chief executive officer, selling roughly $14 billion worth of shares to support philanthropy and future management.

The topic has received over 7 million views on Weibo. Many people feel optimistic about Ma’s divestment and see it as a sign that the billionaire might become more committed to his philanthropic efforts.

Some netizens wonder why several top executives at China’s tech giants have all chosen this year to cut their shares in their companies, while others say “don’t read too much into it” and argue that it is perfectly normal to sell when stock prices are high.


  1. Who controls the economy?
  2. How does the economy change over time?
  3. What are the connections between the economy and workers’ abilities to find jobs?

I never had to worry about divestment because I never invested.

Robert Redford