Co-founder and executive vice chairman, Alibaba
Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai is also a major player in the sports world and a prolific philanthropist
The co-founder and executive vice-chairman of the Alibaba Group, Joseph Tsai is its second-largest individual shareholder after chairman Jack Ma. Originally from Taiwan, he moved to the US as a teenager, started his career as a tax lawyer, then moved into private equity, and was working in Hong Kong as an executive at Swedish investment company Investor AB in the late 1990s when he was introduced to Ma. After joining Alibaba, he went on to establish its financial and legal structures.
A lifelong sports lover, in 2019 he bought NBA team the Brooklyn Nets and its Barclays Center stadium in a US$2.35 billion deal, the biggest ever for a sports franchise, through his sports investment vehicle J Tsai Sports. Tsai also owns the New York Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association and is a director of NBA China. He also has extensive investments in other sports, including lacrosse, football and American football, as well as in e-sports. He has made sizeable donations to educational institutions, including one of US$30 million in 2016 to his alma mater, Yale Law School. He hit the headlines in early 2020 with a huge public donation of masks, goggles and ventilators in the US.
Joseph Tsai is married to Clara Wu; they have three children.
Did You Know?
Like Alibaba’s other co-founders, Joseph Tsai's annual starting salary when the company was launched stood at a princely US$600.