Joseph Tsai

Alibaba co-founder and owner of the Brooklyn Nets

Joseph Chung-Hsin Tsai is a Taiwanese-Canadian businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist.

Early life

Joseph Tsai was born in January 1964 in Taipei, Taiwan. Joseph was born to Dr. Paul and Ruby Tsai and was raised with his three young siblings. His father was a second-generation lawyer and the first person ever from Taiwan to receive a J.S.D Degree from Yale Law. Joseph’s birth name is Tsai Ching-Hsin and he holds both Taiwanese and Canadian citizenship.


Joseph Tsai holds two degrees from Yale University. In 1986, Tsai received a Bachelor of Arts’ degree in Economics and East Asian Studies. Subsequently, he pursued Yale Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1990.


Joseph Chung-Hsin Tsai is a Taiwanese-Canadian businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist. He is a co-founder and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba Group, and ranks as its second-largest individual shareholder after Jack Ma. Upon graduating from Yale Law School in 1990, Tsai became a tax associate at the white-shoe law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell and was admitted as an attorney to the New York bar in 1991. After three years working at the law firm, he switched to private equity and joined Rosecliff, Inc., a small management buyout firm based in New York, as the Vice President and general counsel. In 1995, Tsai left for Hong Kong to join Investor AB, the investment arm of the Wallenberg family, Sweden’s dynastic business empire, as a private equity investor. In 1999, Tsai met Jack Ma and became impressed with his idea to create an international import and export marketplace. Later that year, Tsai quit his $700,000-a-year job at Investor AB and offered to join Ma as a member of the founding team, accepting a salary of only $600 a year. Tsai was known for bringing in investors including Goldman Sachs and SoftBank, helping transform Alibaba Group into an e-commerce juggernaut. In 2014, Tsai helped orchestrate Alibaba’s initial public offering in New York, in which it raised US$25 billion, making it the largest-ever initial public offering. Joseph Tsai served as Alibaba Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and founding board member. With the help of his western education, Tsai single-handedly established Alibaba’s financial and legal structure, as no other founding member had experience in venture capital or law. In May 2013, Joseph Tsai was named Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman where he remains today, and has become the second-largest individual shareholder of Alibaba.

Net Worth

As the co-founder of Alibaba Group, Joseph Tsai has an estimated net worth of $8.5 billion USD, according to Forbes. Tsai has a great part of earning through his Alibaba Group, which is China’s biggest e-commerce company. He is ranked as the #147th Billionaire in the world and #8th in Hong Kong’s 50 Richest.


In 2018, Joseph Tsai bought 49% of the Brooklyn Nets National Basketball Association team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. The following year he purchased the remaining 51%, becoming the full owner. Purchasing the team at a reported value of roughly $2.35 billion USD, a league record, he also bought the WNBA’s New York Liberty. In addition to Tsai’s success with Alibaba Group, he also has an online shopping site, Taobao and Tmall, that revenued $56 billion and 654 million active customers in the year of 2019. In honor of his late father, Tsai donated $30 million to his alma mater, Yale Law School in 2016, to support the continuing work of the institution.