Business / Technology

Unit of Alibaba turns a mom into a billionaire

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-02-07 08:01

Unit of Alibaba turns a mom into a billionaire

People ride a double bicycle past a logo of the Alibaba Group at the company's headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province Nov 10, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]

The mother of Jack Ma's private-equity fund partner became a billionaire following a higher valuation of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's finance affiliate last week.

Wang Yulian owns 4.6 percent of Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co, according to company filings obtained by Bloomberg News, making her the biggest shareholder in the parent of Alipay after Ma and Alibaba co-founder Simon Xie. She has a net worth of $2.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Wang is the 15th billionaire shareholder of Ant Financial. Twelve others emerged on Jan 30 after the company's valuation doubled to about $50 billion amid plans for a private placement ahead of an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.

The billionaire may be holding the shares for her son, according to James Hu, a Shanghai-based analyst at Capital Securities Corp.

"It's common for family members to hold shares for each other," Hu said. "It could be for various reasons such as a single shareholder's stake-size limit."

Wang is the mother of David Yu, who co-founded Yunfeng Capital with Ma, according to earlier filings by Huayi Brothers Media Corp. Yu and Ma are on the board of the Beijing-based film distributor. Yu also holds shares of Ant Financial, the filings showed.

Jenny Kong, a spokeswoman for Yunfeng Capital in Shanghai, did not respond to phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment from Yu and Wang. Yu also did not respond to a message sent to his microblog account.

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