Alibaba’s Ma says partnership not aimed to ‘exert control‘

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 September, 2013, 2:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 1:48am

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma Yun has revealed fresh details of the firm's partnership structure that regulators fear could give too much voting power to company executives after a planned share sale.

The structure was explained in an e-mail from Ma to staff yesterday and obtained by the South China Morning Post. An Alibaba spokesman confirmed the document was genuine.

The e-mail said the partnership scheme had begun in 2010 and had elected 28 partners over a three-round selection process following strict eligibility criteria.

"It is not a mere profit-sharing mechanism, nor is it a vehicle of power to exert greater control over the company," the document said.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and the Securities and Futures Commission fret that the partnership effectively creates a dual structure con- ferring more rights on one group of shareholders than another.

Such structures are not permitted for new listings in Hong Kong.