China's top 10 drinks billionaires (pic: vino joy news)

China's top 10 drinks billionaires (pic: vino joy news)

From a bar maven billionaire at only age 48 to China's ‘Godfather of Baijiu’ to a few self starters who had humble beginnings as carpenter and security guards. Here are the 10 wealthiest Chinese billionaires in today’s drinks industry.

No. 2 Jack Ma 

Company: Alibaba 

Net worth: US$22.8 billion 

Age: 57

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba (pic: Alibaba)
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba (pic: Alibaba)

Despite China’s tech crackdown in 2021, Jack Ma still stood as the world’s 67th richest man though his net worth was more than halved from US$48.4 billion in 2021 to today’s US$22.8 billion, according to Forbes.

Jack Ma is one of the richest and most influential businessmen in China. He is the co-founder and executive chairman of China’s Alibaba Group, one of the largest e-commerce businesses in China and the world. 

In 2014, Alibaba’s IPO in New York broke the world’s record of being the biggest public stock offering after raising US$25 billion.

Ma is also known for founding the fintech giant Ant Group, an affiliated company of Alibaba owning China’s largest digital payment platform Alipay. He has investments in Chinese entertainment industry firms Huayi Brothers and Beijing Enlight Media as well.

Although Ma kept a low profile after Ant Group’s IPO was halted by Chinese regulators in November 2020, the billionaire has never disappeared from headlines and the retail arena. 

Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao are some of China’s largest sales channels for wines and spirits, especially for brand flagship stores. Its inaugural “Double 11 shopping festival” in 2009 turned into one of China’s most important and lucrative annual online sales events nowadays.

Ma also showed his dedication to promote wine by launching September 9 as Alibaba’s Global Wine and Spirits Shopping Festival in 2016. 

Outside of China, the billionaire showed a strong interest in Bordeaux’s wine-making business in earlier years. He had made some of the most high-profile Bordeaux sales and boosted a group of Chinese investors buying a total of 15 Bordeaux châteaux in 2016, which was described as the ‘Jack Ma influence’.

In 2016, Ma acquired Chateau de Sours in Entre-Deux-Mers, which includes an 18th century castle and an 85-hectare property. He later purchased Château Guerry and Chateau Perenne in Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux in the same year.

In 2019, Decanter reported that Château de Sours would work on new cellars and wine making facilities that year. A new winery and new wine is said to be released in 2022

Whether 2022 will be a turning point for Jack Ma and Ant Group’s downturn is still yet to be seen. For now, there seems to be reasons for a slight relief, as Chinese financial regulators have reportedly started early stage discussions in June on reviving Ant Group’s IPO. Jack Ma also launched Ant Group’s digital bank ANEXT Bank in Singapore in the same month.

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