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Jack Ma
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Jack Ma’s new trouble

China’s richest entrepreneur is facing an antitrust action initiated by the Xi government in an effort to take control of the entire tech- industry. Jack is unlikely to be the jack of China’s e-commerce again.

A great success. now aged 56, China’s richest man, Jack Ma, also called Daddy Ma, is now termed “evil capitalist”. The Chinese Fintech giant initially stormed people’s minds. But now. it is said people love to hate him. He disappeared never to appear as Jack Ma. The English teacher turned entrepreneur, is facing the wrath of China’s communist government, while the party members continue to stay friends with him? Isn’t the antitrust action against him going to be an eye-wash? Or is it merely a ploy played by the government to supersede Alibaba?

A day before Christmas. Chinese regulators announced an anti-monopoly investigation into e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, founded by China’s legendary entrepreneur, Jack Ma. This was said to be the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to control fast-growing tech industries. In China, the government also has promoted e-commerce and other online industries. It has become a competitor to private players and worried about the increasing dominance of Alibaba. besides other market leaders.

Jack Ma carries an image of being a benevolent and unconventional billionaire. He is now China’s richest entrepreneur with a net worth of over $59 billion. With the regulator’s order of investigation. the Alibaba Group stocks plunged 14 per cent per. shaving off six months gain. The steady fall in the stock value will lead to an erosion in his net worth. Incidentally, Jack Ma is one of the highly admired businessmen by China’s ruling class. But no one knew what made him run into regulatory troubles. At the same time. the market regulator reportedly said it was looking into Alibaba’s policy of choose-one-of-two. which required business partners to avoid dealing with its competitors.

Jack Ma’s Ant Group $35 billion IPO would have made him fly higher than what Xi wants him.

The action has has been simmering for a while, after the top leadership several times emphasised enforcement of the antitrust law. Finally there’s a solution for the so- called ‘choosing one from : two’ practice, but I hope the problem will be thoroughly treated, instead of only targeting Alibaba.

Liu Xiu – Researcher, National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua, Beijing.

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