Alibaba Group announced on August 4 that Irene Yun-Lien Lee, Chairman of Hysan Development Company Limited, and Albert Kong Ping Ng, former Chairman of Ernst & Young China, were appointed as independent directors to the company’s board, effective today.
Following these appointments, the Chinese tech giant’s board now consists of twelve directors, including seven independent directors. The number of female board members has increased to three. Alibaba‘s board diversity is ahead of domestic tech peers and the average level of 15.8% among HK Listco, according to Hong Kong stock exchange disclosure.
Irene Lee has been executive chairman of Hysan Development Company Limited, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, since March 2012. Lee currently serves as the independent non-executive chairman of Hang Seng Bank Limited, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. She also serves as a director of various private and unlisted companies.
Albert Ng currently serves as an independent non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of a number of public companies, including Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd., Beijing Airdoc Technology Co., Ltd., and China International Capital Corporation Limited.
“The new independent board member appointments are part of Alibaba‘s ongoing enhancement of our corporate governance. Irene and Albert are both respected leaders with invaluable understanding and experience in global markets including mainland China and Hong Kong. I believe Alibaba will greatly benefit from their insight, especially in light of our plans for dual-primary listing in Hong Kong to further broaden and diversify our investor base,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba.
“The focus of my career has been to create a deep connection with consumers by curating top of mind physical destinations, where people come to work, shop and play. I am honored to become Alibaba‘s board member,” said Irene Yun-Lien Lee.
“I am thrilled to join the board of Alibaba,” said Albert Ng. “As Alibaba applies to add Hong Kong as another primary listing venue, I hope my experiences in the capital market of Hong Kong and Greater China can be applied to the company’s pursuit of excellence.”
In addition, Chee Hwa Tung, an independent director of the company, will not seek re-election after his current term, which will end at the company’s annual shareholding meeting to be held later this year. Tung has served as an independent director on the company’s board since September 2014.
“We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to Mr. Tung for his invaluable contributions and full support to Alibaba, which exemplified the highest standards of service and commitment,” said Zhang.