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Thread: Jack Ma & Alibaba

  1. #31
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    $2.8 Billion Richer in One Day

    Alibaba's Jack Ma Gets $2.8 Billion Richer in One Day
    by Lulu Yilun Chen
    June 8, 2017, 6:11 PM PDT June 9, 2017, 2:26 AM PDT
    Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma gains on bullish sales outlook
    Resultant share rally makes him the world’s 14th wealthiest


    Jack Ma. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov /Bloomberg

    Jack Ma’s net worth surged $2.8 billion overnight as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. forecast sales growth that topped every analyst’s estimate, despite China’s decelerating economy.

    Ma, 52, is now the richest person in Asia and 14th wealthiest in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth has climbed $8.5 billion this year to $41.8 billion.

    The latest surge came after China’s largest e-commerce company forecast 45 to 49 percent revenue growth in the year ending March, demonstrating how investments beyond online shopping are paying off. Shares in Alibaba, where Ma is chairman, rose 13 percent to a record high.



    Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd. -- which dominate online shopping and social media, respectively -- have ventured deeper into new areas from cloud computing services to streaming music and video as the country’s economy slows. Alibaba is capturing more digital advertising spending by incorporating social elements such as video in its shopping sites.

    Alibaba Adds $42 Billion in Market Cap on Strong Sales Forecast

    Alibaba is holding meetings with investors this week. On Friday, the former English teacher said he wasn’t going to discuss corporate forecasts. He took the stage instead to describe how his company had become effectively the world’s 22nd largest economy -- just after Argentina --- in terms of transactions by never fearing to think big. Ma, who said Alibaba revises 10-year plans annually, foresaw the company becoming the fifth-largest eventually by 2036 by serving a burgeoning Chinese middle classes, taking advantage of global trade and making use of its valuable trove of data.

    Ma’s comments about the evolution of data-driven technology echoed Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. SoftBank -- Alibaba’s largest shareholder -- has invested billions in companies such as ARM Holdings Plc with the intention of staking out a leading position in the future Internet of Things.

    “The Internet of Things is gonna be big because in the past, machines drink electricity,” Ma told investors. “In the next 20 years, machines will drink data.”

    “In the future, no company, no country, no business can survive without data.”
    Now all he needs to do is sponsor Kung Fu Tai Chi. Come on Jack. Do it for Tai Chi. You love Tai Chi.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #32
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    A pact

    China's Alibaba Pictures Pacts With 'Wolf Warrior II' Production Company
    3:02 AM PDT 8/28/2017 by Patrick Brzeski


    Alibaba Pictures Group
    Alibaba Pictures CEO Fan Luyuan

    Jack Ma's film studio says it will work closely with Beijing Culture on film financing, marketing and distribution after the studio's latest release pulled in more than $800 million.

    Jack Ma's Alibaba Pictures Group has formed a strategic partnership with Beijing Culture, one of the production companies behind Wolf Warrior II, China's biggest blockbuster of all time.

    The partnership was unveiled at a press conference in central Beijing on Friday. The two companies said they would cooperate in areas spanning film financing, promotion and distribution, along with movie merchandising.

    Fan Luyuan, Alibaba Pictures' newly appointed CEO, pointed to the partners' recent collaboration on Wolf Warriors II as an example of the scale of success that's possible when Chinese stakeholders work together to get the formula right — while also leveraging the internet prowess of tech giants like Alibaba.

    "We want to be part of the infrastructure of China’s movie industry,” Fan said.

    Written by, directed by and starring Chinese martial artist Wu Jing, Wolf Warrior II has earned a colossal $810 million in China since its release on July 26. Fan said some 40 percent of all Wolf Warrior II ticket sales were transacted over Alibaba's Taopiaopiao mobile ticketing platform. The service also was used to drive marketing and merchandising offers to filmgoers.

    Beijing Culture has been amassing a powerful collection of partners. In April 2016, the company signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Anthem and Song, the Chinese studio venture set up by Joe and Anthony Russo, the Hollywood directors of Marvel's Captain America franchise. That tie-up proved especially fruitful for Wolf Warrior II, on which the Russos consulted and provided their usual stunt team, led by veteran stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave (The Avengers, Suicide Squad, The Hunger Games), elevating its action to a Hollywood standard. The Russos also introduced the film's villain, Frank Grillo, to their Chinese partners.

    "For China's film industry infrastructure to be improved, we need to work together," said Alibaba's Fan.

    Beijing Culture produces and distributes films, television and internet series, as well as runs a talent agency. The studio's next release will be Feng Xiaogang's period drama Youth, written by popular Chinese novelist Yan Geling, out in China on Sept. 30.
    I doubt Youth will do as well. But then again, I had no idea Wolf Warriors 2 would do well.

    Alibaba & Wolf Warrior 2
    Gene Ching
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  3. #33
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    I gotta say...Jack's got style

    ...but he should stick to Tai Chi.

    There's a vid of him dancing if you follow the link.

    Jack Ma, one of China's richest men, danced on stage to Michael Jackson in front of thousands of employees at a company party
    Alexandra Ma

    Yes, that is a billionaire executive dressed in black and gold, thrusting his hips to the sound of Michael Jackson music on stage in front of thousands of his employees.

    Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of e-commerce company Alibaba, delivered a choreographed performance — complete with backup dancers — at his company's 18th annual celebration in Hangzhou, China last Friday.

    Chinese financial news site Yicai Global tweeted a video of the performance on Monday, which can be seen above. Ma dances to a medley featuring clips from "Billie Jean" and "Dangerous."


    Ma after taking off his mask. Yicai Global/Twitter

    Some 40,000 Alibaba employees from various countries attended the lavish event, which consisted of multiple parades and musical performances, China Daily reported.

    The video appears to have been filmed at the gymnasium of the Yellow Dragon Stadium in Hangzhou, which has a capacity of 8,000. From the footage, the venue looks about half full.

    Ma has much to celebrate: Alibaba's market cap recently passed the $400 million mark — gradually closing its gap with Amazon — and its shares have almost doubled in value since the beginning of this year, Quartz reported.

    The company also announced plans to open its first brick-and-mortar mall in Hangzhou next April, echoing what Amazon did in New York last May.


    Ma speaks to his employees in Hangzhou, China. Wang He/Getty

    This isn't the first time Ma has entertained his staff.

    At Alibaba's 10th anniversary in 2009, for example, Ma — then company CEO — dressed as a punk, donned a white wig, and performed a segment from "The Lion King" (watch the linked video from 1:07 onward). He also took part in a mass wedding for his employees in 2014.

    Such performances by powerful Chinese executives may be more common than we think. In 2016, Wang Jianlin, the CEO of real estate conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, has sung solo on stage at his company's annual meeting multiple times.

    Ma is currently the second-richest man in China and 23rd richest man in the world, with a net worth of $28.3 billion (£21.3 billion), according to Forbes. Wang is currently the richest man in China.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #34
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    Damo

    Jack Ma (Alibaba) & Bodhidharma

    BODHIDHARMA
    Alibaba’s $15 billion global R&D push is named after a legendary Indian monk from centuries ago



    Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks during the Computing Conference in Yunqi Town of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 11, 2017.
    Think like a Zen master. (Reuters/Stringer)

    WRITTEN BY
    Zheping Huang
    8 hours ago

    Earlier this week, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba announced that the company will invest $15 billion in R&D projects in the next five years and open seven tech labs across the globe—an initiative it’s calling DAMO Academy.
    DAMO is a mouthful that stands for “Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook,” and highlights Alibaba’s ambition to turn itself into a global tech giant in the same league as the likes of Google and Microsoft. The Chinese name of the R&D push, however, tells something about founder Jack Ma’s obsession with martial arts.

    [IMG]https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/bodhidharmayo****oshi1887.jpg[/IMG]
    A portrait of Bodhidharma by Japanese artist Tsukioka Yo****oshi. (Public domain)

    DAMO is written 达摩 in Chinese. That’s the Chinese name of Dharma, or Bodhidharma, a prince-turned-Buddhist monk from India, who is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Zen Buddhism to China in the 5th century. Zen Buddhism is then said to have inspired the martial arts practiced by the monks in China’s famous Shaolin monastery.
    Unveiling the DAMO program in a speech (link in Chinese) to an audience of thousands in Hangzhou, Alibaba’s hometown, Jack Ma said he came up with the name just two weeks ago in a call with the company’s head of human resources. He said DAMO might sound a bit weird—but so is Google and Intel. “The more you read it… the more you’ll like it,” he said.
    Ma is a known fan of Chinese martial arts. The 52-year-old earlier this year started giving tai chi classes to fellow entrepreneurs for $15,000 for six sessions. For years, he was also a loyal client of self-proclaimed qigong master Wang Lin—until the latter was charged with murder and later died in custody this February.
    At Alibaba, every employee has a nickname for use within the company. And at least at high management levels, these names all come from martial arts fiction. Ma himself is nicknamed Feng Qing Yang, which roughly translate as “the wind blows briskly and lightly.” CEO Daniel Zhang is nicknamed Xiao Yao Zi, which means “free and unfettered man.” Both Feng Qing Yang and Xiao Yao Zi are formidable swordsmen from martial arts novels by Jin Yong.
    Dharma also appears in the Jin Yong universe as a legendary figure who created secret kung fu techniques.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #35
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    The Art of Attack and Defence (Gong Shou Dao)

    Alibaba’s Jack Ma stars in short kung fu movie to promote tai chi
    Jet Li and Donnie Yen also feature in film to be released next month
    PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 8:50pm
    UPDATED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 8:50pm
    Alice Shen



    Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun will make his big-screen debut alongside action stars Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung Kam-bo in a short kung fu movie released next month.
    Ma’s appearance was to promote tai chi, a traditional Chinese martial art that Ma has pursued for decades, Alibaba said on Saturday. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
    The movie Gong Shou Dao, or The Art of Attack and Defence, will be released on November 11, the date of an online shopping extravaganza known as Singles Day in China.
    But Alibaba said the two events were not linked.
    Ma assembled the team to realise his decade-long dream of becoming a tai chi master, the company said.
    Wu Jing on Wolf Warrior 2’s record-breaking run, his cinematic roots in Hong Kong and Wolf Warrior 3’s story direction
    He unveiled the movie’s poster on his microblog account, showing him surrounded by the other stars.
    “That night ... that dream,” Ma wrote in the post, without giving details of the plot.
    The movie will also feature Wu Jing, whose Wolf Warrior II reset box office records in China.
    Other big names in the movie include champion boxer Zou Shiming, Thai actor Tony Jaa, and retired Mongolian sumo champion Asashoryu Akinori.
    Along with Jet Li, Ma started a lifestyle company called Taiji Zen offering tai chi courses online.
    Ma had also done magic shows and sung Peking Opera.

    The Art of Attack and Defence (Gong Shou Dao)
    Alibaba
    TaijiZen
    Gene Ching
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  6. #36
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    Here it is...

    If you have YouKu: http://m.youku.com/video/id_XMzE0ODM...alled=1&source

    if not, here's a YouTube version, but I can't guarantee it won't be shut down soon:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fuD5lEAC3sY

    I wanna be Jack Ma.


    GSD
    Jack Ma
    Gene Ching
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  7. #37
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    DAMO Academy

    Alibaba uses the Shaolin name as a new brand. Considering Alibaba just made $25B on Single Day, why not?

    V1 Group's "Shaolin" Research Institute Aims to Serve Corporate Development in terms of Cutting-edge Technologies
    PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire
    Nov. 13, 2017, 06:15 AM
    HONG KONG, Nov. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- V1 Group Limited ("V1 Group" or the "Group"; Stock code: 82.HK) released its internal research report "Statements and Interpretations on the Digital Economy in China's latest policies". The report defines the digital economy, traces its history of development, predicts its developmental trends and outlook, and probes into its relationship with traditional industries.

    At the Alibaba Cloud Workshop held on October 11, 2017, CTO Jeff Zhang announced Alibaba was launching a new global research institute -- the Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook, or the DAMO Academy for short. In popular Chinese novels, the DAMO Academy is a top martial arts institution.

    Less than one month later on November 4, Tencent inked a strategic cooperation agreement with Springer Nature, a world-renowned research, education and publishing group, in an attempt to recruit young scientists through the journal Nature and build a global platform for the latest technology.

    On the same day, which was the eve of the Symposium on the Source of Innovation organized by the Stanford Business Executive Education, the Technical Institute of V1 Group Limited ("Institute of V1") released its internal research report "Statements and Interpretations on the Digital Economy in China's Latest Policies". While discussing the report with other executives, Dr. Zhang Lijun, Chairman of V1 Group compared the Institute of V1 to the Shaolin Temple, another symbol of supremacy in Chinese martial arts novels. He went on to say that while Alibaba has the DAMO Academy, V1 Group's "Shaolin Temple" focuses more on the alignment of strategies and real work.

    V1 Group's "Shaolin Temple" Institute of V1

    Founded in early 2017, Institute of V1 is committed to the R&D of cutting-edge technology, industrial research and product incubation regarding information technology and the Internet. Unlike Alibaba, who vows to "spend 100 billion yuan in three years" to "recruit top researchers from around the world" and "push technology boundaries forward," or Tencent, who aspires to build a platform of young scientists worldwide, V1 Group is focusing on making its research institute into a reliable technical support provider for its business development and strategic thinking in this era of the digital economy while actively engaging in technological innovation and international exchange.

    Zhang explained, "In Chinese novels, the Shaolin Temple is the common origin of a great variety of martial art forms and represents the supreme level of martial arts. Institute of V1 works closely with top experts, other research institutes and prestigious universities around the globe in an inclusive, open, collaborative and mutually beneficial way to advance R&D in cloud computing, big data, security, video, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things and the block chain, etc. Our only mission is to serve corporate development. It's more practical."

    Aiming at commanding heights in human resources, information and technology

    Upon its inception, the Institute of V1 was designed by Chairman Zhang to be "practical". He demanded the institute to concentrate resources and effort on human resources, information and technology, seizing commanding heights in these three aspects.

    Human resources come before everything else. Institute of V1 has recruited its researchers from other prestigious IT companies, research institutes and universities at home and abroad, including big names such as Microsoft, the Chinese Academy of Science, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Stanford University, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University and Nokia, and 70% of its researchers have a master's degree or above.

    Information leads us to the forefront of research. Zhang stressed the necessity to grasp the trend of technological development so that the group may keep pace with the world's most advanced levels.

    Technology is the core impetus for innovation and development. The mission of the research institute is to provide strong support for V1 Group's business lines in terms of cloud computing, the block chain, artificial intelligence and the practical application of technology. Liu Hu, former technology director for mobile device business at Microsoft Greater China who now serves as the head of the Institute of V1, said, "Our ongoing research projects cover the integration of videos and artificial intelligence, a high-speed video cloud and a smart allocation system, artificial intelligence, an end-to-end encrypted transmission system, medical data analysis platforms and block chain technology, and we have indeed made certain achievements in these areas. These cutting-edge technologies will be applied to V1 Group's ongoing and upcoming business projects." So far, the Institute of V1 has formed close R&D partnerships with research institutes at Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent, Tsinghua University, Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Science, etc.

    Liu Hu has laid down three priorities for the research institute based on developmental trends of the Internet and other cutting-edge technologies at home and abroad as well asV1 Group's business development strategies. First, to produce substantial effects in technological application, data management and talent recruitment and training for the group while paving the way for the explosive growth of its business lines. Second, to form close partnerships and conduct technology exchanges with other research institutes in the Chinese Internet industry so as to jointly promote technological advancement and innovation. Third, to actively engage in exchange, research and exploration in the global Internet industry, establish extensive contacts with international technology innovation centers, manufacturing innovation centers and business mode innovation centers, and launch global technology exchanges.

    Amid the rapid progress of technology, the V1 Research Institute will focus on practical needs and build its technological prowess in a down-to-earth manner to distinguish itself from other research institutes and produce more tech professionals and innovation.

    About V1 Group Limited

    V1 Group was established in 2005, listed on the Main Board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2006, became the first Chinese video media enterprise listed in Hong Kong. V1 Group Limited was named the "China's Top 100 Internet Companies" three years in a row from year 2014 to 2016. After eleven years of rapid development, V1 Group's main businesses have been fully covered the Internet and mobile terminals. In 2016, V1 Group successfully transformed from the new media industry group into a new economy in the internet industry, with extensive layout in new media, online games, internet healthcare, internet travel, internet education, internet finance and many other fields, which strive to build an internet life circle to solve the basic needs for users. V1 Group is now become an integrated new industry group in internet plus life field.

    V1 Group IR website: http://ir.v1.cn

    SOURCE V1 Group Limited
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  8. #38
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    Wonder how next year will go?

    Crazy statistics from China’s biggest shopping day of the year
    Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, attends a show during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival in Shanghai, China, November 10, 2017.


    Fired up. (Reuters/Aly Song)

    WRITTEN BY Josh Horwitz
    November 11, 2017

    Singles Day, Alibaba’s annual day-long online shopping bonanza in which the e-commerce giant offers heavy discounts on a wide range of products, just came to an end.
    On the evening prior, a number of international stars made appearances at a countdown gala Alibaba held in Shanghai. Football star Luís Figo got shots blocked onstage, Pharrell performed alongside Chinese singers Kris Wu, Karen Mok, and pianist Lang Lang, and Nicole Kidman introduced Jack Ma’s upcoming martial arts film Gong Shou Dao.
    View image on Twitter

    Maria Sharapova ✔@MariaSharapova
    An honor meeting Jack Ma at @AlibabaGroup #Double11 event today. Thank you for inviting me back to Shanghai! 🇨🇳
    12:26 AM - Nov 10, 2017
    137 137 Replies 441 441 Retweets 3,691 3,691 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    At midnight local time on November 11, the shopping commenced. Unsurprisingly, sales figures were enormous.
    Citigroup predicted that Singles Day would drive $24 billion in purchases across Taobao, Tmall, and and other e-commerce properties. In fact, Alibaba exceeded expectations by a small margin. Over the 24-hour period, consumers bought 168.3 billion yuan ($25.4 billion) in goods from Alibaba.

    At one point over the 24-hour period Alipay, the payment service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, was processing a record 256,000 payment transactions—more than double from last year’s peak

    Alibaba surpassed last year’s final purchase figure of $17.8 billlion at 1:09 PM local time, 13 hours after the festival began.

    China’s State Post Bureau estimates (link in Chinese) that over 1 billion packages will be delivered across China between Nov. 11 and Nov. 16, as consumers wait to receive their orders. That will amount to roughly the number of packages delivered across China throughout the entire year 2006.
    Alibaba kills it for Single Day.
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  9. #39
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    Great article from Quartz

    OPEN SESAME
    On the Alibaba campus, ambition and humility are both on display


    Bride and groom at a mass "wedding" on Alibaba Day. (Alibaba)

    WRITTEN BY Josh Horwitz
    December 19, 2017

    A campus can reveal a lot about a company’s culture. Google is famous for its outlandish office spaces, which contain egg pods and caverns, capturing its founders’ quirky personalities. Amazon is known for its door desks, symbols of founder Jeff Bezos’ frugality (even though they were more expensive than actual desks).

    If there’s one Chinese company that can rival those foreign ones in visibility worldwide, it’s the e-commerce giant Alibaba, one of the world’s most highly-valued companies. Founder Jack Ma regularly appears at overseas events, where he captivates audiences with stories about his pre-Alibaba days when his resume was so weak he couldn’t even get a job at KFC. The company’s Singles Day shopping event is well-known enough worldwide to get American celebrities to come promote it. Every now and then Ma breaks into dance at a company event.

    Like Amazon, its US-based counterpart, it’s moving beyond online commerce and into offline retail, cloud computing, and consumer finance. It’s also expanding internationally, opening up R&D centers in Singapore, Israel, and the US.

    Very little of Ma’s flamboyance and ambition comes across at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou’s Xixi district (about 180 km from Shanghai). At first glance, it looks like an ordinary office park. If anything stands out in particular, it’s the presence of two contrasting motifs in the central courtyard—the influence of classic Chinese literary and art forms, and a towering series of human sculptures.

    Visually, the aesthetics of the two themes don’t appear to match. But they each capture a specific part of how Alibaba sees itself, and the challenges that lie ahead for the company.

    Band of outsiders

    Markings of imperial China dot the 260,000 square meter campus. Conference rooms have names like “Green Branch Peak” and “Banana Plains,” references to the Qing dynasty novel Dream of the Red Chamber (the 18th century work is considered one of China’s greatest literary achievements and has been compared to Gone with the Wind and War and Peace). The center of campus contains a walled garden inspired by the Jiangnan style of local architecture associated with Zhejiang province and other areas in eastern China along the Yangtze river. It’s open only to Jack Ma—his office is there—and other top executives, who use it as a meeting spot for guests such as Justin Trudeau, who visited in late 2016.


    Jack Ma with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau at a walled garden on Alibaba’s campus. (Alibaba)


    A statue of Shou Xin Gong, the god of longevity in Chinese mythology. (Quartz)

    Chinese martial arts in particular is a common motif on Alibaba’s campus. Cartoon depictions of warriors are spread throughout hallways, meeting spaces, and even the parking lot.

    Jack Ma’s fondness for martial arts stems in part from his admiration of the work of Jin Yong, a Hong Kong-based writer who published a series of adventure novels revolving around heroes and combat scenes. While published during the 20th century, the books are usually set in medieval Chinese history and draw on a long tradition of China’s wuxia, or martial arts-related fiction. He’s incorporated much of the literature into Alibaba’s internal culture.

    The company’s values, for example, are dubbed the “Six Vein Spirit Sword,” which Ma borrowed from Jin Yong’s novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, whose characters are inspired by Buddhist philosophy. At Alibaba, each “vein” of the sword (which is not an actual sword in the novel) represents a company value—customer first, teamwork, embrace change, integrity, passion and, commitment. Employees are rated on their performance in part based on how well they fulfill each of these values.

    All employees at Alibaba choose a nickname for themselves. Originally, Alibaba staff drew from characters in Jin Yong’s martial arts novels. Jack Ma’s nickname, for example, is Feng Qingyang, named after an elderly swordsman from the Jin Yong book The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Nowadays, staff can take their nicknames from other inspiring characters too—Marvel superheroes and Korean dramas are popular, one employee told Quartz. These are used in all professional contexts—emails, group meetings, even performance reviews.

    Brian Wong, Alibaba’s vice president of global initiatives and an employee since 1999, says Alibaba uses the nicknames, and the broader martial arts motif, to inspire staff to think of themselves as outsiders fighting for a cause.

    Much of Alibaba’s past and present has hinged on it taking on established, powerful rivals. In the previous decade, while competing hard against eBay in China, the company steadfastly refused to charge vendors fees to list on its site. Investors quivered, but Chinese merchants embraced the policy, helping Alibaba to drive one of Silicon Valley’s largest companies out of the country. Nowadays, with its Ant Financial finance affiliate, the company is taking on a larger rival—state-owned Chinese banks, which Ma argues don’t adequately serve the Chinese consumer.

    Jin Yong’s characters, Wong says, are like “a brotherhood, like a band of brothers, it’s a group of people that are fighting for values of righteousness, loyalty.”

    “Often times they are sort of a peripheral group, they are not the mainstream. They have been shaped by things in their life they think are not fair or not right,” he adds.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  10. #40
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    Continued from previous post

    Humble touches

    Alibaba’s courtyard also contains a series of sculptures that the company commissioned from contemporary Chinese artist Wang Wei. They depict giant, stern human figures in states of distress.


    The three figures depict “spirit and confidence in the face of difficulties, be strong but always be humble as well.” (Quartz/Captions quote from statue descriptions provided by Alibaba)


    A statue of a man burdened by a turtle shell on his back shows “he has pressure in life. We think at night, ‘What you have done today and what are you going to do tomorrow?'” (Quartz)


    A statue that depicts rowers stuck on rock because they’re rowing in opposite directions is meant to encourage employees to “work hard for the same target, in the same direction.” (Quartz)

    These statues represent another facet of Alibaba’s campus and corporate culture—humility.

    Despite being valued at nearly $450 billion, Alibaba’s offices aren’t lavish. A typical office floor consists of a series of desks and some ordinary cubicles. For amenities, there are massage chairs, and the odd foosball or ping pong table.


    (Alibaba)


    (Alibaba)


    (Alibaba)

    Wong says the lack of glamor at one of the world’s most highly valued companies helps preserve a culture of modesty among staff. Even at its size, the company faces stiff competition from e-commerce rival JD.com, as well as social media giant Tencent, which has made inroads in online shopping with its popular WeChat messaging app. With over 50,000 employees, the company has to ensure staff doesn’t become complacent.

    “One thing we’ve talked a lot about now at Alibaba is maintaining a sense of humility. The company has lots of influence on the economy and business in China, and extending into the world. But that’s a privilege and a responsibility,” Wong says. “If you start to give all the employees all these things that make them feel entitled, then they’re going to treat customers in a way that’s much different.”

    City and state

    Alibaba’s Xixi campus is just one of several it has in China. A smaller campus in Binjiang, 40 minutes by car from the Xixi headquarters, holds offices for employees that work for Alibaba.com, the company’s business-to-business e-commerce site, as well as AliExpress, its global-facing e-commerce site. Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, and Ant Financial each have separate offices in Hangzhou.

    Alibaba has transformed the city. It was once primarily a destination for tourists heading to West Lake, a UNESCO heritage site. Now it’s a startup hub that vies with Shenzhen and Beijing for influence in China’s tech industry. Many Alibaba alumni have founded large companies that are based in the city, including Mobujie, a fashion social network valued at over $1 billion (paywall), and Beibei, a shopping site for mothers (paywall).

    Like many Chinese tech giants, Alibaba’s relationship with the government is close but complicated. Ma’s philosophy is to be “in love with the government [but] don’t marry them.” Recently though, as the company has grown more influential, the government has increasingly relied on it for its own purposes. Last year Alibaba company partnered with the Hangzhou government to monitor traffic data across the city. It also is working with the city’s housing bureau to develop an online marketplace for house rentals, powered by Ant Financial’s controversial social credit scoring system. There’s even a spot on Alibaba’s Xixi campus that serves as a “designated meeting space where law-enforcement staff visit occasionally” to help with “established criminal cases,” a representative told the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

    Scale and chaos

    There are a few times each year when the sheer scale of Alibaba comes to life, sometimes chaotically. One is Alibaba Day, which takes place every May 10. Employees’ families are invited to campus to partake in various activities, including a “wedding” for newlywed couples, often officiated by Jack Ma himself. Wong says that the weddings are a symbol of valuing employees as family—at times, literally. Back in 2003, during China’s SARS epidemics, employees ran the business from their homes, often enlisting their parents or grandparents for help. The weddings, Wong says, are “the company’s way of saying thank you to the families.”


    (Alibaba) (Alibaba)

    Later in the year, as the company prepares for its annual Singles Day shopping bonanza in November, the campus fills with signs and posters promoting the event, and eventually, tents for employees working long hours.


    (Alibaba) (Alibaba)


    (Alibaba) (Alibab)

    Wong, a Palo Alto, Calif. native, says that Alibaba’s campus might seem modest by the standards of Silicon Valley, where Apple recently unveiled its spaceship-like new digs. “If you’re comparing it to Google or Facebook, you’re not going to think this is impressive. But if you’re comparing it to other Chinese companies, it’s a pretty darn good campus,” he says.

    Ultimately, like its more elaborate counterparts in other parts of the world, he says, it’s designed to inspire employees in its own way: “This is a similar approach, but with Chinese characteristics.”
    This is why this has been a relevant thread here for so long. I'm moving it to the main forum now. Jack Ma could single-handedly revitalize Kung Fu, although I'm not confident GSD is the way to go (the way to go is to fund our publications for the next few years ).
    Gene Ching
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  11. #41
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    Alibaba & Pyeongchang Olympics

    There are some embedded vids behind the link.

    I'll also plug my article from last week here because it's relevant to Jack Ma & the Olympics: Natasha Liu Bordizzo on Gong Shou Dao (The Art of Attack and Defense)

    2018 Olympics
    Alibaba bets on Olympics to make it a household name
    by Sherisse Pham @Sherisse
    February 20, 2018: 10:36 PM ET

    Alibaba is ready to compete on the world stage.

    China's biggest e-commerce company just made its debut as an Olympic sponsor at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Its massive pavilion at the event is a stone's throw from those of Coca-Cola (KO), McDonald's (MCD) and Samsung (SSNLF).

    Those brands have instant global recognition, something that remains elusive for Alibaba (BABA) -- for now.

    The Chinese company made a big splash when it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 with the world's largest IPO. Chairman Jack Ma frequently pops up at major international events like Davos, and he drew attention with a photo op with President Trump last year.

    But Alibaba's "brand awareness outside China is not commensurate with its size," said Junhong Chu, a marketing professor at the National University of Singapore.

    The company, whose market value is bigger than that of Walmart (WMT), is banking on its Olympic sponsorship to help change the situation.

    Brands pay millions of dollars to snag the highest level of Olympic sponsorship. To join that elite club, they must commit to a minimum four-year contract and fork over some serious cash. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) predicts it will make $1 billion from the program for the 2013-2016 period.

    The companies that sign on to become top sponsors are typically household names, such as Toyota (TM), GE (GE) and Visa (V).

    Alibaba joined them in 2017. Financial terms of Olympic sponsorships are not made public, but it is reported to have spent $800 million for a deal lasting through 2028.


    Alibaba's pavilion in Gangneung Olympic Park is near those of Coca-Cola, Samsung and McDonald's.

    The Chinese company's big Olympic debut comes as one top American brand is leaving the party. McDonald's announced in June that it would end its decades-long deal with the Olympics three years early.

    Alibaba is stepping in "at a very critical time," the company's chief marketing officer, Chris Tung, said in an email to CNNMoney. It will use its technology to help make the Olympics "more efficient, secure and engaging," he added.

    So while sports fans won't be catching any Big Mac commercials during the Pyeongchang Games, they will see Alibaba's ad campaign.

    "This is Alibaba's global coming-out party," said John Gutteridge, Asia Pacific CEO of advertising firm J. Walter Thompson Company.

    Its commercials feature stories of underdog athletes or small acts of kindness that took place at past Olympics.

    "To the greatness of small" is the campaign's tag line. And all the commercials end with the following phrase written in white on a black screen: "Alibaba empowers small businesses and young people around the world."

    The company is also sponsoring some Olympics-related content on CNN Digital during the Games.

    For someone who has never heard of Alibaba, its Olympic commercials do little to clarify what the company does. But it might prompt them to find out, according to Chu.

    Research suggests that people often respond to ads with online searches, she said, suggesting that if consumers hear about Alibaba during the Olympics, and their interest is piqued, they will do their own research into the company.

    Wooing U.S. businesses

    Alibaba is often called the Amazon (AMZN) of China, and much like its U.S. rival, the company has expanded well beyond its original e-commerce business. It has a growing cloud computing business, operates a major video site and is affiliated with a massive digital payments platform. It's even expanding into brick-and-mortar stores in China.

    It is also trying build up its business in the U.S., holding a big conference in Detroit in June to encourage American small businesses and farmers to sell their products to Chinese consumers through Alibaba platforms.

    Expanding internationally has so far proved tough for Alibaba because its e-commerce sites and other main services are tailored to the Chinese market.

    As part of its Olympics sponsorship, Alibaba became the official cloud services provider and e-commerce platform for the Games, as well as a founding partner of the Olympic Channel.

    But raising its profile significantly in the U.S. through Olympic marketing campaigns may be a challenge.

    Alibaba is signing on as a sponsor at a time when fewer people are watching the Games on NBC, the official U.S. broadcaster of the Olympics.

    The network pulled in an average of 22.2 million prime-time viewers in the first week of Olympic coverage, down more than 6% from the first week of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, according to NBC Universal.

    CNNMoney (Gangneung, South Korea)
    First published February 20, 2018: 10:36 PM ET

    Thread: Winter Olympics
    Thread: Jack Ma & Alibaba
    Gene Ching
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  12. #42
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    fingers crossed for Tai Chi...

    Asian Games: Will Alibaba boss Jack Ma sing ‘Unchained Melody’ at Indonesia closing ceremony or will he perform Tai Chi?
    The Alibaba co-founder will take part in the ceremony to hand over the Asian Games flag to his hometown of Hangzhou, host of the 2022 Games

    PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 September, 2018, 7:20pm
    UPDATED : Saturday, 01 September, 2018, 8:58pm
    Nazvi Careem



    Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma has reportedly told people he will perform at the Asian Games 2018 closing ceremony in Jakarta on Sunday.

    Ma met Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah on Saturday morning and it was at this meeting he told those present that he would perform at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium to mark the end of a successful Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

    An official who was at the meeting but who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak, confirmed that Ma told those present he would be performing.



    His entourage applauded after he made the announcement. Ma’s office, though, informed the SCMP that he would only make a short remark at the ceremony but not perform.

    Another source suggested that Ma will not sing but perform some Tai Chi during the show. Ma is a Tai Chi master and says he uses the discipline’s philosophy in his business dealings and in his daily life.

    Taijiquan and Taijijian are part of the Asian Games wushu disciplines.

    Ma will take part in the ceremony to hand over the baton to Chinese city Hangzhou, his hometown, which is hosting the 2022 Asian Games. The Alibaba billionaire is a major force behind Hangzhou’s successful bid to stage the next Games.


    Jack Ma (eight) with Olympic Council of Asian official Wei Jizhong at the Asian Games men’s volleyball final between China and Thailand.

    The South China Morning Post is a subsidiary of Alibaba.

    The 53-year-old Ma has performed in public before, most notably at the Yunqi Music Festival in October last year when he and Chinese singer Li Jian sang a duet of the latter’s hit song “Legend”.

    Ma, wearing sunglasses and wearing a hip jacket, remained on stage to sing three more songs solo – Unchained Melody, Jonathan Lee’s I Finally Lost you and Wang Feng’s When I’m Thinking of You.

    The Yunqi festival was part of the Computing Conference 2017 that was hosted by Alibaba Cloud in Hangzhou.


    The Asian Games opening ceremony on August 18. Photo: Reuters

    Jakarta brings the curtain down on what has been a hugely successful Asian Games, surprising the world with its organisation, relative efficiency and, most of all, its spectacular opening ceremony on August 18 that set new standards for future Olympics and regional multisports events to emulate.

    At the closing ceremony on Sunday, Hangzhou mayor Xu Liyi will receive the Asian Games flag from Jakarta officials and will take it back to the Chinese city as they begin their preparations for the 2022 Games.
    THREADS
    Asian Games
    Chinese Billionaires & Tai Chi
    Jack Ma & Alibaba
    Gene Ching
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  13. #43
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    Jack didn't sing or do Tai Chi

    He just announced the next games in his hometown.



    THREADS
    Asian Games
    Chinese Billionaires & Tai Chi
    Jack Ma & Alibaba
    Gene Ching
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  14. #44
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    Ma retires

    I'm hoping that philanthropy includes promoting Chinese martial arts. Something like sponsoring Kung Fu Tai Chi would be phenomenal.

    Alibaba’s Jack Ma, China’s Richest Man, to Retire From Company He Co-Founded


    Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, is stepping down at a time when the Chinese business environment has soured.CreditCreditAmir Cohen/Reuters
    By Li Yuan
    Sept. 7, 2018

    阅读简体中文版閱讀繁體中文版
    HONG KONG — Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, said he planned to step down from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday to pursue philanthropy in education, a changing of the guard for the $420 billion internet company.

    A former English teacher, Mr. Ma started Alibaba in 1999 and built it into one of the world’s most consequential e-commerce and digital payments companies, transforming how Chinese people shop and pay for things. That fueled his net worth to more than $40 billion, making him China’s richest man. He is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth.

    Mr. Ma is retiring as China’s business environment has soured, with Beijing and state-owned enterprises increasingly playing more interventionist roles with companies. Under President Xi Jinping, China’s internet industry has grown and become more important, prompting the government to tighten its leash. The Chinese economy is also facing slowing growth and increasing debt, and the country is embroiled in an escalating trade war with the United States.

    “He’s a symbol of the health of China’s private sector and how high they can fly whether he likes it or not,” Duncan Clark, author of the book “Alibaba: The House Jack Ma Built,” said of Mr. Ma. “His retirement will be interpreted as frustration or concern whether he likes it or not.”

    In an interview, Mr. Ma said his retirement is not the end of an era but “the beginning of an era.” He said he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education. “I love education,” he said.

    Mr. Ma will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors and continue to mentor the company’s management. Mr. Ma turns 54 on Monday, which is also a holiday in China known as Teacher’s Day.

    The retirement makes Mr. Ma one of the first founders among a generation of prominent Chinese internet entrepreneurs to step down from their companies. Firms including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and JD.com have flourished in recent years, growing to nearly rival American internet behemoths like Amazon and Google in their size, scope and ambition. For Chinese tycoons to step aside in their 50s is rare; they usually remain at the top of their organizations for many years.

    The departure of Mr. Ma is likely to jolt China’s internet industry, which has been reeling from the arrest last weekend of Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder of the online retailer JD.com. Mr. Liu, who goes by Richard Liu in the English-speaking world, was arrested on a rape allegation in Minneapolis during a business trip. He was released and has since returned to Beijing, where JD.com is based.

    For Alibaba, Mr. Ma’s retirement completes a transition of power to other executives. Mr. Ma stepped down as Alibaba’s chief executive in 2013; the company’s current chief executive is Daniel Zhang, who is a candidate to succeed Mr. Ma. Yet Mr. Ma had remained active as the face of the e-commerce firm, as well as an architect of its long-term strategy. He owns a 6.4 percent stake of Alibaba, according to securities filings, but has considerably more sway over the company thanks to its complicated legal structure.

    Mr. Ma, a natural salesman and charismatic leader, co-founded Alibaba with 17 others — some of them his students — out of his apartment in Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province in 1999.

    Alibaba started as an online marketplace for businesses to sell their products to other businesses. But it did not take off until it began the Taobao marketplace in 2003, which merchants used to sell goods directly to consumers. Alibaba later rolled out Alipay, an online payment service, to facilitate transactions in a country where few people had credit cards. Alipay later became Ant Financial, the financial subsidiary that Mr. Ma also controls.

    Today, Alibaba’s empire encompasses e-commerce, online banking, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment — and even a corporate messaging service similar to Slack. The company owns or holds stakes in some of China’s most important media assets, including the Twitter-like social media site Weibo and the Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper The South China Morning Post.

    Among China’s biggest companies, Alibaba is viewed as one of the firms with the deepest ranks of management talent. Many of the co-founders are still around, and professionals who joined the company later are now in charge.

    Last month, Alibaba reported a 60 percent increase in quarterly sales, even as profits fell. The company’s annual revenue totals about 250 billion yuan, or $40 billion.

    While Alibaba has become dominant in China, it has faced a tougher time expanding internationally. The company has increased its presence outside of China by investing in e-commerce and online finance companies in India and Southeast Asia. But its efforts to muscle into the United States largely have not been successful.

    Even after Mr. Ma met with President-elect Donald J. Trump in early 2017 and promised to bring one million jobs to the United States, the federal government rejected Ant Financial’s bid to acquire the American money transfer company MoneyGram this year over national security concerns.

    As Beijing has increased its involvement in the private sector, Mr. Ma has shifted what he has said about China’s government. He used to say that businesses should be in love with the government but never get married to each other, indicating that an arms-length relationship was preferred.

    At a conference last November, Mr. Ma was more positive. “There’s no country like China in the world,” he said. “With political stability, social safety and 6 percent-plus economic growth, we have the best business environment.”

    As Alibaba has flourished, Mr. Ma has talked many times about how he did not want to spend his whole life at the company, saying he would retire one day and go back to teaching.

    In 2014, he created the Jack Ma Foundation, which has worked to improve education in rural China. Mr. Ma’s Weibo social media handle is “spokesman for village teachers — Jack Ma.” Within Alibaba, he is known and referred to as “Teacher Ma.”

    In an interview with Bloomberg TV this week, Mr. Ma signaled he was thinking about focusing more on philanthropy. He cited the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as an example.

    Mr. Ma said he could never be as rich as Mr. Gates — but that he could retire earlier than Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates stepped down as Microsoft’s chairman in 2014, at the age of 58.

    Follow Li Yuan on Twitter: @LiYuan6.
    Gene Ching
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  15. #45
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    Daniel Zhang

    I just hope Zhang is as into martial arts as Ma is.



    Daniel Zhang: The New Face of Alibaba
    Jack Ma lauds his successor as a ‘next-generation leader,’ but many say Zhang has big shoes to fill.
    Bibek Bhandari and Liang Chenyu
    Sep 10, 2018 4-min read

    Nineteen years after Alibaba Group’s founding, the company’s executive chairman, Jack Ma, has announced that he will step down from the position next year and named chief executive officer Daniel Zhang as his successor.

    Zhang will take the helm of one of China’s biggest e-commerce companies on Sept. 10, 2019, after having served as its CEO for just over four years, Ma said in a statement on Monday. Ma, who co-founded the company in 1999, will remain Alibaba’s executive chairman until then, and afterward will stay on as director of the company’s board and a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership, a cohort of 36 people involved with the company who embody and promote its mission, vision, and values.

    “Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time, because I know from working with them that they are ready, and I have complete confidence in our next generation of leaders,” Ma wrote in a letter addressed to Alibaba customers, employees, and shareholders.

    Duncan Clark, author of “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built,” told Sixth Tone that Zhang, who has been credited as the architect of Alibaba’s ever-expanding e-commerce outlets, is a well-respected figure within the company — and that while he might not match Ma’s popularity and high profile, Zhang has demonstrated sufficient expertise to take the reins of the company.

    “He is known to investors and seen as a safe pair of hands,” Clark said. “But Jack will remain a very important figure — so the question is, what will he actually do? Will Daniel be able to take on more responsibilities, or will he still focus on day-to-day business? We have yet to see.”

    Ma describes his 46-year-old successor as a man with “superb talent, business acumen, and determined leadership,” as well as the “guts to innovate.” Zhang started his career at Alibaba in 2007 as chief financial officer for online retailer Taobao, and quickly ascended the rungs of the company hierarchy. Just a year later, he was named Taobao’s chief operating officer and the general manager of Taobao Mall, now known as Tmall.

    Zhang is also known for introducing China’s 1.3 billion people to the world’s biggest online shopping frenzy: the equivalent of Black Friday in the United States, but on a much grander scale. The annual Singles’ Day shopping event on Nov. 11 started as a small promotional project under Zhang’s leadership in 2009, and has set new global records for consumerism each year since. Every November, Zhang can proudly point to a screen projecting an astronomical sales figure, which last year reached a whopping $25 billion, up from just $7.8 million in 2009.

    A Shanghai native, Zhang studied finance at the prestigious Shanghai University of Finance and Economics from 1991 to 1995. However, he never wanted a routine job or a predictable life — a message he imparted to students during a 2016 event at his alma mater. “Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make,” he said at the time.

    Alibaba employees refer to Zhang as xiaoyaozi — a term for a “free and unfettered” spirit that comes from kung fu writer Jin Yong’s novel “Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils.” But while at work, Zhang plays the part of the versatile, well-rounded leader, qualities that set him apart from Ma, according to a 2017 profile on Alibaba’s company news site, Alizila. “The focus on even the smallest of details highlights a key difference between Alibaba’s founder and Zhang,” it said.

    On microblogging platform Weibo, thousands of netizens have left glowing comments about Ma’s plan to pursue philanthropy and educational projects, and some users are referring to Zhang as the company’s “stepfather” — the precocious heir apparent to Ma, whose charismatic personality, eloquent public speaking, and keen mind for business have been etched into the world’s ninth most valuable brand. A former English teacher who is now one of China’s richest people, Ma cultivated a strong fan following not only through business sense and philanthropy, but also through showy antics like starring in a kung fu film alongside Jet Li and performing a Michael Jackson-inspired dance to celebrate Alibaba’s birthday.

    Clark said that one of the major tests for Zhang will be to maintain and eventually build on the company culture that Ma created. “How will Daniel be able to excite the team and customers?” he said. “It’s not an easy thing to replace the founder. [...] If this is successful, that will be another big achievement.”

    According to Ma, the leadership transition is a shift away from relying on individuals and toward promoting collective talent. “The one thing I can promise everyone is this,” said the chairman. “Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”

    Contributions: Fan Liya; editor: David Paulk.

    (Header image: Daniel Zhang speaks during a press conference in Shanghai, Aug. 2, 2018. Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/VCG)
    'xiaoyaozi'... now where have we heard Xiao Yao before?
    Gene Ching
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