There are many businesses who are not only envious of Alibaba’s success, but there are just as many who are suspicious of Jack Ma himself. Why are these suspicions abound in the business world? Mainly due to Alipay.
In 2011, Jack Ma was able to gain control of Alipay from Alibaba, even though Yahoo and Softbank were majority shareholders of the company. And this is where many people start to get distrustful of Jack Ma. How was he able to do this? Why did the major shareholders have no choices in what happened? These are all questions that have followed Jack Ma for the past for years.
The Alipay Incident: The Facts
According to most news stories of the time, Yahoo had no idea that Alipay was no longer one of their assets. In fact, it is rumored that Carol Bartz, the CEO of Yahoo during that time, lost her temper when she discovered that Alipay was no longer in control by Yahoo. Especially when she never signed any papers that gave the company away, or had any knowledge that this was going to happen.
On the other side, Alibaba has already denied that there was anything illegal or unethical taking place. The company states that the transfer of Alipay to Alibaba was a major topic of discussion, and the decision was made between all those involved. However, it seems that either Yahoo does not remember these discussions, or they simply did not take place.
Why the Unease with Ma?
For those who understand the situation, they have heard lawyers state that this was a high type of theft. There are those who state that Yahoo must have not had any business sense to let this happen. While others state that this is what happens when foreign brands enter into the Chinese market, the way of business is different, and it is these types of incidents that point this out. However, what has many people weary of Jack Ma is the fact that if he can do this with Alipay, what is to stop him from taking Tmall or Taobao and placing these into his personal portfolio.
What has Jack Ma to say on the incident? Nothing. Many journalists along with other businesses have asked Jack Ma to explain his actions and how Alipay has become a personal asset for him. This has many people worried that something similar will happen in the future, and it has made many businesses weary of doing business with Alibaba in China.