Chinese largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group has become part owner of the country’s top soccer club Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday. Alibaba founder and chairman Ma Yun and president of Guangzhou Evergrande group Xu Jiayin announced this much anticipated co-operation at a joint press conference held in Guangzhou in south China’s Guangdong Province on Thursday morning.
Alibaba bought 50 percent of Evergrande’s stake, worth 1.2 billion yuan (about $192 million). Evergrande’s blitz to conquer the Chinese top league has left many dumbfounded. Promoted to the Super League in 2011, the Guangzhou club won the title in the very season before they went on to dominate 2012 and 2013. In 2013, the club claimed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League crown, becoming China’s first Asian champion since the country launched the professional league in 1994.