Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, reportedly just bought one of the most expensive homes in the world. At a cost of HK$1.5 billion ($193 million USD), the 9,900 square-foot property sold for HK$151,653 ($19,500 USD) per square foot, making it the second most expensive home ever sold from a price per square foot perspective.
Located at 22 Barker Road in the exclusive Victoria Peak area of Hong Kong, the three-story home has been described by some publications as a bungalow, which can mean a large detached home or even a mansion in some countries. Some of its highlights include 270-degree views of Victoria Harbor and a 20,000-square-foot garden, which is increasingly hard to come by in the massively populated city.
The former owner of the home was Francis Yuen Tin-fan, executive chairman of Pacific Century Insurance Holdings. Yuen recently stepped down from his roles as deputy chairman of PCCW and deputy chairman of Pacific Century Group. He bought the now 70-year-old property for HK$163.5 million ($21.1 million USD) in 2000.
Ma’s purchase, which he has yet to confirm, comes shortly after the company released disappointing financial figures. According to Business Insider, Ma’s net worth went down by $1.02 billion on Wednesday, which shouldn’t set him back too far — even with the stock price slump, he’s still worth well over $20 billion USD.
In addition to the bungalow, Ma also recently purchased a property in Branksome Crest, a condominium complex in Hong Kong, for HK$282 million ($36.5 million USD). The purchase was meant to help him achieve permanent residency in Hong Kong as he was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Ma also owns a 28,100-acre property in the Adirondacks in New York, which he bought for $23 million in June.
He’s come a long way since he first created Alibaba in a small apartment in Hangzhou in 1999. Today, the apartment is a tourist destination and an office for the company’s most talented employees so they can catch the same waves of inspiration as Ma did in his early days.
The employees who work in Ma’s old apartment prefer it over the Alibaba campus, which features indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a pool and plenty of restaurants. The company went public in September, making Ma the richest man in China (excluding Hong Kong) and one of the richest people in the world.
Wei Gu, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, tweeted a picture of what appears to be Ma’s new acquisition:
— Wei Gu (@weigu) August 13, 2015