Jack Ma

Alibaba's Jack Ma and Bill Gates discuss charity at Beijing dinner

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 3:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 3:03am

Bill Gates and billionaire Jack Ma Yun met in Beijing to talk about charity, according to a post by the world's richest man on Twitter yesterday.

"Got to meet with Alibaba's Jack Ma Yun in Beijing to talk philanthropy - great conversation," Gates said on his Twitter post.

Ma, who set up a charity trust potentially worth more than US$3 billion in April, threw a dinner for Gates on Tuesday, according to the Weibo post of property developer Ren Zhiqiang, who was present.

The event, attended by other Chinese businessmen, was held to discuss charity prospects in China, according to Ren's post, which included photos.

Ma, the chairman of Alibaba Group Holding and worth about US$12.6 billion, set up a charitable trust with co-founder Joseph Tsai Chung in April, using share options that amounted to about 2 per cent of the e-commerce company's equity.

The former English teacher's company is marching towards what may be the largest initial public offering in the United States, with an estimated valuation of US$168 billion, according to analysts surveyed in April.

Ma stepped down as Alibaba's chief executive officer in May last year, saying he planned to focus on environmental protection and education. He and 17 others founded Alibaba as an online marketplace for Chinese companies in 1999.