Jack Ma Lost $3.4 Billion of Profits as New Worries from Investors Loom Over Alibaba’s Prospects

Jack Ma Lost $3.4 Billion of Profits as New Worries from Investors Loom Over Alibaba's Prospects

The co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, had seldom been seen by masses since the Chinese government decided to impose restrictions and bans on technology companies and their developments. The 58-year-old from Hangzhou, China made a rare appearance in Bangkok, Thailand earlier this year, when he was taking a picture with the owner of Jay Fai, a Michelin-starred restaurant that made a name for itself with its delicious crab omelette. The picture coincidentally happened before the announcement that Ma was to relinquish his control over financial tech giant Ant Group, and his wealth had since suffered a huge dip, with a reported $3.4 billion that was gained in January 2023 evaporated.

China’s Reopening Did Not Go as Planned

Jack Ma stepped down as the executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in 2019, but his portion within the holding allowed him to remain within ranks of wealthiest persons in China and the globe. His fortune took a huge step forward, when Alibaba’s stock peaked earlier this year, thanks to the Chinese government’s decision to finally reopen its borders to the rest of the world and its legal approval for Ant Group’s funding plan. Nonetheless, a series of events had caused the $3 million Ma gained since the start of the year vanished instantly.

The reason behind another unfortunate issue for the Zhejiang-born Jack Ma, was due to the lack of trust from investors over Alibaba Group Holding, as they do not have the confidence that China can revert to its glory days before the pandemic. Furthermore, the slow-moving traffic within the Chinese consumer supply-demand chain had contributed to Ma’s loss. It is reported that although factories are now fully operational, consumers had shown little to no interest of showcasing their strong buying power like before, and that itself is a worrying sign.

A new cost problem certainly does not spur the growth and recovery as such, and affected the rapidly-developing e-commerce industry on top of all things. According to reliable sources, the Chinese commerce sector suffered a 1% slide from sales from its international units, and this figure is inclusive of revenues made through two of the most-known e-commerce giants namely Taobao and Tmall.

E-Commerce Will Recover, But the Same Cannot Be Expected from Alibaba

The consolation prize for China’s commerce sector is that it will welcome recovery independent of time and speed, but we should not think that the same is on the cards for Jack Ma and Alibaba. Instead, the former chairman and the group itself are set to look at challenges posed by their competitors, including Pinduoduo, Douyin and Kuaishou, as they will be aggressive in grabbing market shares, not to mention Alibaba’s failure in cloud computing also made them fall behind Huawei in this regard.

What’s Next for Alibaba?

The group’s main focus in the future would be a race against time in the hottest tech branch in the world at the moment, generative AI, with its chief executive Daniel Zhang already confirmed about the arrangement. The demand for cloud computing and the new world that conversational chatbot ChatGPT had opened up had called for Alibaba’s own endeavours in this field. The Hangzhou-based company is now preparing to launch their own version of chatbot with similar functions, as Zhang believed that the emergence of such AI tools in the country will breed incredible opportunities as a whole.

The emergence of a ChatGPT-like model in China would be a transformative one, but let us remind ourselves that Baidu already has its Ernie chatbot on the way as well, which means Alibaba is exploring a world that is filled with fierce competition from its tech giant competitors before its chatbot is even introduced to the market. That being said, do you think Alibaba has what it takes to lead the pack in this industry then? Tell us why in the comment section below.

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