Alibaba Founder Jack Ma Becomes China's Richest Man Before Alibaba IPO

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Jack Ma is China's richest person.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma

The 49-year-old founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce business, has a net worth of $21.8 billion. His assets include a 7.3 percent economic interest in the company, which is preparing for what could be the largest initial public offering in US history, and almost half of the parent of Alipay, a separate online-payment service that previously hadn't been included in his net worth calculation.

Jack Ma attends a corporate event at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province

Ma’s net worth is expected to rise when Alibaba’s IPO hits the New York Stock Exchange, presumably next month. Alibaba’s post-IPO valuation could be as high as $200 billion, analysts cited by Bloomberg News said. Despite a recently disclosed accounting issue at Alibaba’s film-production unit in Hong Kong, the company’s IPO figures to be one of main narratives on Wall Street in coming months.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Ma

Business is booming for the Hangzhou-based family of online businesses. Alibaba reported its second-quarter gross revenue advanced to $2.55 billion this year, a 46.3 percent gain over last year, and net income climbed to $2.01 billion in 2014, a 179.6 percent increase over 2013.

The wealth creation in China has been quite rapid, particularly among entrepreneurs such as Jack Ma that have created businesses that benefit from China's burgeoning middle class.

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