Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A hot tech sector.. “Jack Ma” is resurgent in China


Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Holding Co. (AFP)

Jack Ma

Its debut in China follows an 18-month campaign against the tech industry

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Alibaba Holdings founder Jack Ma, after spending months abroad, was seen in China as a possible sign that Beijing is turning back to tech companies after an 18-month crackdown.

According to the school’s WeChat post, Ma visited Yungu School in Hangzhou, Alibaba’s headquarters city, to talk to teachers about how to educate children in the age of artificial intelligence.

Technologies such as the famous “ChatGPT” have brought challenges to education, but according to a report by “CNBC” and seen by “Al Arabiya.net”, the billionaire said artificial intelligence can be used to solve problems.

This is the first time “Ma” has made a public appearance in China since last year, after traveling outside of China in the past few months and being spotted in Spain, Japan and Thailand.

Ma’s resurgence followed a severe crackdown on his empire when fintech Ant Group was forced to halt its major listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai in late 2020, with Ma making critical comments about the financial regulator in China before he was listed.

Subsequently, Beijing tightened regulations for the domestic sector. Alibaba, founded by Ma, was hit with a $2.6 billion antitrust fine in 2021.

Ant Group is undergoing restructuring under China’s central bank to comply with regulations, while Ma has been slowly ceding control of the fintech company.

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It comes as China’s tightening of rules on the technology sector has fueled investor fears that President Xi Jinping is turning against private companies and traders.

However, China has faced weak economic growth over the past year due to its “zero Covid” policy to curb the spread of the emerging coronavirus. Meanwhile, Beijing has revived the economy. Allowing Ma to return to the playing field could be Beijing’s recognition that private enterprise is needed to spur growth.

This was echoed by Chen Sun, a senior lecturer in Chinese business at King’s College London, who said, “Economic growth on the road is the biggest political priority facing the party.” [الشيوعي] Now, the most optimistic type of entrepreneur is important.

Sun expects a “sort of deal” between Alibaba’s billionaire founder and the government.

“By doing so, the government wants to signal its welcome to the private sector and investors – if Jack Ma is considered pardoned, everyone else should be safe and welcome,” Sun said.

There are other signs that Beijing is loosening some of its regulatory controls in the sector. Organizers used to license foreign games to broadcast in China. Chinese passenger service giant Didi, which faced a cybersecurity investigation from regulators and was forced to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, has signaled it wants to expand its business.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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