The Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing regulatory records it had examined, that SoftBank Group Corp. had made a decision to sell almost all of its remaining shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The forward sales will eventually reduce SoftBank's ownership of the Chinese e-commerce giant to only 3.8%, according to the article, which FT analysed based on documents made to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the article, the Japanese organisation, headed by Alibaba's billionaire founder Masayoshi Son, has offered prepaid forward contracts to sell Alibaba shares valued at around $7.2 billion this year.

In response to a more ambiguous economic environment, SoftBank told FT that its shift to "a defensive mode" was reflected in its Alibaba transactions. The company also said it will share specifics of the deal in its publication of its quarterly results in May.

Requests for comment from Reuters were not immediately answered by Alibaba or SoftBank. The price of Alibaba's US-listed shares fell 1.3% in after-hours trading.

By decreasing its share in Alibaba from 23.7% to 14.6% last year, SoftBank earned $34 billion, which it used to shore up its cash reserves in the wake of severe losses suffered by its Vision Fund unit.

Due to Beijing's assault on the digital industry, which includes a heavy punishment on Alibaba and investigation of founder Jack Ma's business empire, Alibaba has lost more than two-thirds of its value from the highs it reached in late 2020.