Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 381 Joseph Tsai $5.61B

Random fact: Quit a $700,000-a-year job to join Alibaba for $50 a month.


Tsai is a co-founder of Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-commerce company. The Hangzhou-based business operates Taobao, an online shopping site, and Tmall, a platform that lets companies open online stores. It had revenue of 717 billion yuan ($106 billion) and 1.13 billion global annual active customers in the year to March 31, 2021.

As of :
Last change -$37.2M ( -0.7%)
YTD change -$1.46B ( -20.7%)
Biggest asset Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center
Country / Region Canada
Age 58
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Joseph Tsai's net worth of $5.61B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Tsai's wealth is derived from his 1.3% stake in Alibaba Group, China's largest retail commerce business. The group had revenue of 717 billion yuan ($106 billion) and 1.13 billion active customers in the year to March 31, 2021, according to the company's 2020 report.

The billionaire holds a 1.3% stake directly and through holding companies based in the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, according to the report.

About 30% of his shares are held by APN, a Cayman Islands-based company in which Tsai has a 30% equity interest. Pledged shares held through APN are included in the calculation because they're pledged for a liquidity event payment that may not become due.

Tsai acquired a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball club from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018. The sale valued the Nets at $2.3 billion, according to an Oct. 27, 2017 report from Bloomberg News. In September 2019, he acquired the remaining 51% of the Nets and took full ownership of the Barclay Centre. Tsai paid $3.4 billion for both stakes and the stadium, according to a New York Post report. Its valued here based on a January 2021 analysis by sports valuation consultants Sportico.

The value of the liabilities is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

Rachel Chan, a spokeswoman for Alibaba, declined to comment on Tsai's wealth.


Birthdate: 1964
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Yale College, Yale Law School

Joseph Tsai was born in Taipei in January 1964 to a corporate lawyer and his wife. He was sent by his parents at age 13 to Lawrenceville School, one of the most expensive boarding academies in the U.S. where he learned to play lacrosse. He graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in East Asian studies and economics in 1986 and continued his education at Yale to study law.

Tsai took a job in New York as a tax associate at the lawfirm Sullivan & Cromwell. He joined the buyout firm Rosecliff as vice president and general counsel, then moved to Hong Kong as a private equity investment manager for Investor AB, the Stockholm-based holding company controlled by the Wallenberg family. He married Clara Wu in 1996.

Three years later, he was introduced to Jack Ma, the founder of, through a friend in Taiwan. Ma, who was running the startup from his Hangzhou, China, apartment without any financial or legal background, offered Tsai a salary of $50 a month -- a far cry from the $700,000 he was earning at Investor AB.

To Ma's surprise, Tsai took the job even though his wife was pregnant, By 2000, he was negotiating with investors, including SoftBank, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Investments. He raised $25 million.

In later years, Tsai led efforts to establish Alibaba's headquarters in Hong Kong, list the shares in Hong Kong, and negotiate with Yahoo as a strategic investor. He's was in charge of Alibaba's initial public offering, the biggest in U.S. history. In addition to, an online B2B e-commerce website, the company operates Taobao, China's top retail site, and, the country's most popular online-payment service.

  • 1964 Joseph Tsai is born in Taipei, the son of lawyer Paul C. Tsai.
  • 1982 Graduates from the Lawrenceville School, a preparatory academy near Princeton.
  • 1990 Receives Yale Law School degree. Passes the New York State bar exam.
  • 1990 Practices tax law as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York.
  • 1996 Marries Clara Ming-Hua Wu, an executive at American Express, in New York.
  • 1999 Takes first job at Alibaba with starting pay of $50 a month.
  • 2000 Raises $25 million from SoftBank, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity and other investors.
  • 2007 debuts on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • 2013 Promoted to executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group.
  • 2014 Alibaba raises $25 billion in world’s biggest IPO.