Jack Ma says lawsuits, probes help Alibaba to be understood

Sat Jul 9, 2016 1:11pm EDT
 
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By Engen Tham

HANGZHOU, CHINA (Reuters) - Lawsuits and investigations are an opportunity for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to be better understood, founder and executive chairman Jack Ma said in an interview on Saturday.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a probe earlier this year into the Chinese e-commerce firm's accounting practices to determine whether they violated federal laws. Questions about Alibaba's growth rate and its relations with affiliated companies have dogged the firm for years.

"If you want to sue us, sue us," Ma said.

"It's an opportunity for us to let them understand what we're doing," he told Reuters, saying he had complied with SEC requests but did not know when the U.S. agency would respond with a finding.

Ma was speaking after the first day of a two-day philanthropy conference hosted by the Alibaba Foundation, a charitable organization established by the group.

He said Alibaba had been transparent and provided the SEC with everything it had asked for.

In 2014, the now 51-year-old Ma and Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai pledged share options worth about $3 billion at the time to a newly established charitable trust in the biggest donation of its kind in China.

It took the Jack Ma Foundation a year to register, said Ma.   Continued...

 
Jack Ma, founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group speaks during the inaugural "Xin" Philanthropy Conference in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, July 9, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS