Crypto curious Joseph Tsai to take over as chair at Alibaba

Quick Take

  • Joseph Tsai, a co-founder of Alibaba, will succeed Daniel Zhang as chair of the internet giant.
  • He is a noted crypto enthusiast who has invested in several startups in the sector.

Joseph Tsai, a crypto enthusiast and investor, will take over the reins as chair of Alibaba, the Chinese internet giant.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited announced earlier today that Tsai, who is a co-founder of the company and serves currently as executive vice chairman, will succeed Daniel Zhang as chairman.

Tsai first aired his fondness for crypto in a tweet in 2021, stating simply, “I like crypto.” He backed up his talk with an investment in FTX through his family office, Blue Pool Capital, according to a South China Morning Post report. He has reportedly made additional investments in a number of crypto startups, including participation in web3 video platform Shibuya's $6.9 million raise in December 2022.


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News of Tsai’s appointment comes with many speculating that China is mulling lifting crypto restrictions, after Beijing published a whitepaper promoting web3 as an “inevitable trend” for the future. Alibaba is a giant of e-commerce in China, with a market capitalization of $236 billion.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.


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