GUANGZHOU, Guangdong Province, June 5 -- Chinese largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group has become part owner of the country's top soccer club Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday.
At a joint press conference, Alibaba founder and chairman Ma Yun and real estate tycoon Xu Jiayin announced this much anticipated co-operation.
Alibaba bought 50 percent of Evergrande's stake, worth 1.2 billion yuan (about 192 million U.S. dollars).
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.