The Hush Post|03:05pm| 2-min-read
Jack Ma, the head of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and China’s best-known capitalist, is a Communist Party member, the official Party newspaper said on Monday.
It was a widely accepted fact that the billionaire was politically unattached.
The People’s Daily revealed Ma’s Party membership in a list of 100 people. The list included names of prominent people in China who have helped drive the country’s “reform and opening up” process.
Ma is China’s richest man with a fortune of $35.8 billion, according to Forbes. In September this year he announced that he will retire from Alibaba to focus on philanthropy and pursue educational work. He has announced that Daniel Zhang will succeed him as executive chairman.
Ma resigned from the position of the CEO of Alibaba Group and reportedly decided to eventually resign as chairman .
He has acted as an adviser to political leaders in Asia and Europe and fostered big ambitions in the United States.
Officially the Alibaba group declined to comment on Ma’s Party membership. “Political affiliation of any executive does not influence the company’s business decision-making process,” a spokesperson said in an emailed note to Reuters on Tuesday.
Ma’s political affiliation came as a surprise to many.The paper also did not mention when Ma had become a Party member.
Who is Jack Ma?
He is Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate.
As of August 2018, he is one of China’s richest men with a net worth of US$38.6 billion, as well as one of the wealthiest people in the world. Ma’s primary ideology was for an open and market driven economy.
He is also a role model for startup businesses.
Fetish for English
According to wikepedia, he began studying English at a young age by conversing with English-speakers at Hangzhou international hotel. He would ride 70 miles on his bicycle to give tourists tours of the area to practice his English for nine years. A pen pal nicknamed him “Jack” because he found it hard to pronounce his Chinese name.
In his youth, Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected by all. “I went for a job with the police; they said, ‘you’re no good'”, Ma had told interviewer Charlie Rose.
“I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy …”.
He had applied ten times to Harvard Business School (HBS) and had got rejected.