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Will Jack Ma run for President of China?

Jack Ma co-founded Alibaba, China’s internet behmoth .. worth  $500 billion.  He rose to that role from poverty, the fulfillment of the Chiness Dream.  Now Ma’s own wealth is estimated at $40 billion but  his power rivals all but President Xi.   In a letter to shareholders and employees, Ma said he will step down in a year and be succeeded by company CEO Daniel Zhang.

If this were the US, Ma would seem like an ideal candidate for political office.  As Deng Xiaoping led China into its new role, Ma took uo that red flag,  went from being an English teacher to creating a web site and then a company. Alibaba now challenges even MAG .. the combination of  the combination of Microsoft, Amazing, and Google.  Ma’s Alibaba makes Trump’s MAGA seem irrelevant.  Ma did all this not as a computer nerd but as the ultimate … perhaos pnext t Jeff Bezos ,, entrepreneur.  .

Alibaba bestrides e-commerce, online payments, cloud computing, media, entertainment, and social networks. This past quarter, Alibaba announced it has 552 million active online buyers. It’s not clear how that precisely stacks up to Amazon, which last revealed its user base in 2016, when it was 310 million. This year, Amazon said it has 100 million Prime members. In 2017, Alibaba rang up $25 billion in sales in just 24 hours on “Singles Day,” almost eight times the estimated $3.5 billion by Amazon on Prime Day in February.

As a businessman, Ma is the leader who made China Inc a commercial, international force … able to go toe to to toe with the American web companies.  He is a role model for entrepreneurs from China to Nairobi in a way that Trump can not rival.

Now, Mr. Ma say he will return to his roots  … with a philanthropic foundation devotes to education.  Really?  Can Ma become China;s Bill Gates?

Imagine is Ma were an American.  His rise from poverty to wealth would make Ma a poster boy for the American dream.  Isn’t this the stuff of politics?

Ma must know this.  He himself has described Alibaba as a paradigm for China new role as a model for the ambitions of third world countries. “He’s the first Chinese tech executive to realize that the Chinese model can work in other developing countries.”
— Hans Tung, managing partner, GGV Capital

Jack Ma also has media smarts.  He comes across like Warren Buffett  as a Chinese liveryman.  His coteries of freinds include  state leaders and celebrities. He even has a very American story about  how, right after college, he was one of 24 people to apply for a job at KFC. Twenty-three were hired — all except him.

Of course there is the little matter of China not being a democracy.   


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