Alibaba founder Jack Ma tops Forbes annual list of China's richest people


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Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has been named China's richest man with an estimated fortune of $19.5 billion, according to Forbes.

He knocked entertainment and property mogul Wang Jialin out of first place into fourth following Alibaba's record-breaking initial public offering in September.

Baidu chief executive Robin Li came in second with an estimated net worth of $14.7bn, up from $11.1bn a year ago, according to Forbes' annual list of China’s richest people.

Tencent founder Pony Ma landed in third place with an estimated fortune of $14.4bn, up from $10.2bn in 2013. Overall, the total wealth of China’s top 100 people now stands at $376 billion, up 19 per cent on last year, Forbes said.


Ma founded Alibaba, which manages more e-commerce transactions than Amazon and eBay combined, from his tiny flat in China 15 years ago. The company is now valued at $240 billion and controls more than 80 of the Chinese online shopping market catering to businesses and individuals.

Yesterday, the 50-year old hinted he is open to do business with Apple and said he has tremendous respect for chief executive Tim Cook. When asked if Alipay, Alibaba's payments service, and the newly launched Apple Pay could tie up in the future, Ma added: "I hope we can do something together."

The Alibaba founder also revealed he wants to make films and is looking for partners in Hollywood, arguing that China is set to become the world's biggest market for films.