Jack Ma the most famous businessman in China and the symbol of self-made in the eyes of his citizens, but today he faces the curse of the Chinese authorities, who seem determined to block the road.
The former English-language professor, who formally retired from the online retail giant Alibaba Group last year, had hoped that his fortune would exceed $ 70 billion with the launch of the “Ant” group, the world’s first online payment group, on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.
Guardianship authorities announced the suspension of the $ 34.4 billion operation on Tuesday, due to concern over its activities in electronic payments. And this dealt a severe blow to Jack Ma, the 56-year-old, who remains the number one shareholder in the Alibaba group.
In recent hours, Alibaba’s stock fell on the Wall Street and Hong Kong stock exchanges, threatening to lose the businessman the title of the largest fortune in China, according to Bloomberg’s credit rating agency. This constitutes a blow to the billionaire who contributed to the Chinese switching to online shopping by founding “Alibaba” in 1999.
The story of the founding of “Alibaba”
The Chinese media recounts his beginnings, he grew up in a poor family, and his father could barely secure their needs and was not superior in his studies and he used to do simple jobs until he founded Alibaba from an apartment in Hangzhou in eastern China with an amount of $ 60,000 that he borrowed from friends.
Jack Ma decided to stop learning at university after he discovered the Internet during a visit to the United States, and took advantage of the idea that companies could sell their products electronically. He also immediately realized the enormous potential of smartphones, and with his service “Ali Play” he was the first to offer electronic payment service on these phones.
From the Chinese Communist Party to Michael Jackson
“The first time I used the Internet, I wrote on the keyboard and said to myself … This is something that will change the world and China,” Jack Ma told CNN.
In 2006, the start-up process of the Alibaba electronic platform forced the American “eBay” group to withdraw from the Chinese market, opening the door wide to its competitor. The Chinese media portrays Jack Ma’s phases as bizarre and is sometimes compared to an alien being, especially in the monotonous world of Chinese entrepreneurs. For example, in 2017, Jack Ma took to the stage disguised as Michael Jackson during a party held by his foundation. He is also a member of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
Meet world dignitaries from Davos to Wall Street, and Donald Trump promised to create 1 million jobs in the United States in January 2017 when the American billionaire was preparing to enter the White House. But he later broke his promise, citing the trade war that the US president had unleashed on his country, and in September 2018 Jack Ma announced that he would retire in 2019 on his 55th birthday. He intends to devote his time to philanthropic work in the field of education, similar to his example, Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
His limitless successes won him hostilities in the leadership circles of the communist regime, which may explain the decision taken Tuesday by the regulatory authorities. And Jack Ma might have to reconsider the code of conduct that he presented at the Davos forum in 2017 when he said at the time: “My philosophy is to adore power but without reaching the point of being attached to it.”