Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce site is expected to have an incredible, record shattering IPO. If all goes well, Zuckerberg and @Jack will feel broke next to Jack Ma, Alibaba founder. So, what does a billionaire tech tycoon do to celebrate his impending windfall? Buy a soccer team, apparently.
Ma just purchased half of China's most successful soccer club, Guangzhou Evergrande, for $192 million. The team won the 2013 AFC Champions League and their coach, Marcello Lippi, is a World Cup-winning manager (with Italy in 2006.) They also finished fourth in the World Club Cup.
You'd think that for $192 million, Ma must be a soccer super fan. Not quite. Ma said of the purchase, "We're not investing in football, we're investing in entertainment. Alibaba's future strategies are health and entertainment." Well, entertainment was actually key to the purchase.
Fellow billionaire Hui Ka Yan got drunk with Ma, and convinced him to buy half of Hui's soccer team. Hui explained it this way: "A few days ago in Hong Kong, by accident I got him drunk, I told him my Evergrande soccer team is planning to issue shares and raise money to support strategic development, will you join? He said I will. We finished it in 15 minutes.”
Spending $192 million in 15 minutes. Ah, to be a tech gazillionaire.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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