Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Takes Stake in Alibaba and Pushes for More Stock Buybacks

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Activist Ryan Cohen has a wide following among individual investors who often follow his lead.Photo: Mark Abramson for the Wall Street Journal

Activist investor Ryan Cohen has built a stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. worth hundreds of millions of dollars and is privately pushing the Chinese e-commerce giant to accelerate and further boost its share-repurchase program, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Mr. Cohen, known as the meme-stock king for helping ignite explosive rallies in GameStop Corp. and others, built the stake in the second half of last year, the people said. 

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