Alibaba founder Jack Ma buying Bordeaux Château expected to trigger Chinese purchase fever

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Jack Ma, founder of multi-billion dollar online retailer Alibaba, has become the latest Chinese investor to buy a Bordeaux wine estate with Château de Sours. DecanterChina.com speaks exclusively to Chinese trade insider on the move.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s new manor: Château de Sours. Credit: Château de Sours
Image: Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s new manor Château de Sours. Credit: Château de Sours

China’s Alibaba founder buys Bordeaux château spanning 80 hectares:

· Jack Ma’s personal fortune estimated at US$21.5bn
· Foreseeable ‘chateaux buying fever’ among Chinese investors, read DecanterChina.com exclusive interview with LI Lijuan of Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes
· Investor plans to create ‘mini Versailles’ – Bordeaux source tells DecanterChina.com

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has completed the purchase of Château de Sours in Bordeaux, prodcuer of red, white and rosé wines, Decanter.com can confirm. A price was not disclosed.

Ma joins a growing list of Chinese investors in Bordeaux and becomes one of the highest profile château buyers in the French wine region. His personal fortune is estimated at US$21.5bn, according to Forbes, having seen online retail business Alibaba rise rapidly in China and overseas.

Trade comment: expecting ‘buying fever’ among Chinese investors

‘This morning I already received several calls from my Chinese clients,’ LI Lijuan, China marketing director of Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Rael Estate, told DecanterChina.com.

‘They came to view chateaux one or two years ago but didn’t buy at the end. Now they came back to ask if they can buy. ’

‘What Jack Ma brings to Bordeaux at the beginning of the Year of the Monkey, is almost a guarantee for financial profit,’ she explained. ‘Chinese people like to follow the mainstream to buy things. As long as the basic direction seems to be right, they all want to follow up.’

Several local wineries are already in touch, wanting to find out if they can still sell their chateaux to the Chinese billionaire. This reflects the attitude of the local people, said LI Lijuan.

The trade is suspecting whether Jack Ma will make a move to the Grand Crus, said LI, though ‘for the Chinese, it’s not about whether they can afford it, more about if they think it’s worth it.’

The impact brought by the purchase of the Chinese billionaire is not only limited to the wine trade, but also the related business including tourism, said LI Lijuan.

‘He is seen almost like a saviour to the French wine business,’ she said.

Click to see in the next page:

Ma plans to create ‘mini Versailles’ in Entre Deux Mers – source
Ma friends with fellow Chinese château owner ZHAO Wei

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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