The fall from grace of Jack Ma, founder of AliExpress

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Jack Ma I’ve had it all in life. He had founded, the Asian e-commerce giant whose international version, AliExpressHe overshadowed Amazon itself, he was a billionaire, the richest person in his country, he was praised by the Chinese government itself for creating a successful business model, he was one of China’s most important personalities. Until everything changed.

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At the end of 2020, the entrepreneur criticized his country’s financial laws in a public forum. He said traditional banks in China were run like “Pawnshops”, which led the authorities of the Asian country to put the cross on him. This marked a before and after in his life. He came to disappear for months from public life.

The campaign against Ma and his company began with the discontinuation of the listing of Ant Group of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

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In addition, the government also fined nearly 2.3 billion euros (18.2 billion yuan) over Alibaba’s market dominance violations.

Alibaba Group, one of the largest companies in the world.  Photo EFE

Alibaba Group, one of the largest companies in the world. Photo EFE

It was then that Jack Ma decided to retire from public life. At first he abandoned the management of the business conglomerate he founded and subsequently eliminated all public appearances. He was said to have been arrested.

Indeed, it was recently reported that Ma went into self-exile from China so that the government could no longer persecute him. Both he and his family moved to Tokyo, where he now teaches at the prestigious University of Tokyo at Tokyo College.

According to the university’s website, Jack Ma shares “his rich experience and innovative knowledge in entrepreneurship, business management and innovation” through several seminars.

The case of Jack Ma is paradigmatic of how the Chinese regime treats critical citizens, however solemn they may be. The businessman went from being one of the country’s personalities to persona non grata in a matter of months.

Who is Jack Ma?

Multi-millionaire.  Reuters photo

Multi-millionaire. Reuters photo

The 58-year-old tycoon was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang on September 10, 1964, and began learning English at an early age, conversing with English speakers at the Hangzhou Hotel, located in 40 minutes by bike from home.

Although his real name is Ma Yun, this self-taught entrepreneur started calling himself “Jack” to offer his hobby guide services to tourists. He graduated from the university in 1988 as an English professor, and by that time he had already created his own translation agency.

In 1995 he started his first company, dedicated to the design of Internet sites for Chinese companies, considered a sort of Chinese “Golden Pages”.

In 1999, together with a group of friends, At age 35, he launched two business-to-business websites: one in English,, the other in Chinese,

Confident that Chinese companies needed a place in the market to introduce their products to foreign buyers, Alibaba initially matched SMEs with wholesalers.

Then he created a platform where companies sell to the public (Tmall) and another between consumers (Taobao). Elsewhere, people google and reach out to sellers; but the Chinese usually go directly to Taobao, without using search engines like Baidu.

Jack Ma is 68th richest in the world.

Source: La Vanguardia

Source: Clarin

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