(Yicai Global) Oct. 29 -- Alibaba Group Holding has voiced concerns after founder Jack Ma topped a ranking of Chinese entrepreneurs by the amount of money they had cashed out of their respective companies.
The Hurun Cash Out Rich List 2018 found that the Hangzhou-based firm's head had cashed CNY11 billion (USD1.6 billion) over the past year, Hurun Research Institute said on its website.
"Hurun Report didn't contact us for any data exchange and verification, so we wonder what sources and references they used for the list, as well as their intentions for releasing at this very moment," the company said in a statement.
"We cannot accept or approve such a list without any sources or references," the statement continued. "China doesn't need any distorted, flimsy or misleading lists, especially those which mislead the public and stir up any conflicts."
Hurun clarified in its report , "after cashing out, some billionaires use the proceed to buy property, some set up a family offices, and others put invest in the charity sector, including He Jianxiang, Yang Huiyan, Jack Ma, Zhang Xinbang, Zhang Yin ….and Pony Ma .
Hikvision Digital Technology Vice-board Chairman Gong Hongjia and his wife Chen Chunmei cashed out CNY7.9 billion to rank second in the list, while Hong Kong-listed Country Garden Holdings' majority shareholder Yang Huiyan came in third after receiving a dividend of CNY6.3 billion.
Some 30 entrepreneurs from the Chinese mainland cashed out CNY83.8 billion in total in the past year, up 4 percent compared with the previous year, which is the second largest cash-out amount since 2015 over the past decade, the list shows.
Alibaba explained Ma's cash out stating it was for charitable causes. As early as April 2014 prior to the company's US IPO, Ma along with Joseph Tsai jointly announced the donation of their Alibaba share options, accounting for 2 percent of total shares, to set up individual charitable trust funds for environmental protection, health care, education and non-commercial ecosystems.
Jack Ma signed a 10b5-1 sale plan with Tsai's charity foundation last September to fulfill their commitment to public welfare. Ma and Tsai have sold shares over the past year to implement the plan.
The Hurun Research Institute calculated that, based on Alibaba's annual reports, Ma has sold 11.1 million Alibaba shares in total via serval shareholding platforms, of which two million shares were sold via two platforms for charity and the remaining 9.1 million shares were sold for about USD1.6 million (about CNY11 billion). This was calculated at USD175 per share on average with reference to Alibaba's price range over the past year.
Editor: William Clegg