founder Jack Ma sells 13 mn shares founder Jack Ma sells 13 mn shares

Shanghai: Jack Ma, chairman and founder of China’s largest business-to-business Web marketplace, has sold 13 million of his shares in the company for about $35 million, the company said on Tuesday.

Ma, one of the best known figures in Chinese Internet circles, sold the shares for HK$20.78 each, accounting for less than 5% of his total direct and indirect holdings in the company, said in a statement.

The Hong Kong-listed company has about 5 billion shares outstanding, according to Reuters Knowledge.

The sale marked the first for Ma of shares in the company he founded 10 years ago, and which currently counts US search giant Yahoo among its major investors.

“There are many things that I need to learn how to do ... all of which I would like to do while I am still young and will need to do now," Ma said in an internal blog posting seen by Reuters, discussing the sale.

“I need to start learning now how to deploy money to do proper things, to experience the real meaning and responsibilities of having wealth," he said.

After dropping steadily in 2008, Alibaba shares have come charging back this year, nearly quadrupling since January to close at HK$21.60 on Tuesday. The shares closed down 1.14% in Tuesday trade.