Hero of the financial revolution
Can the Chinese Communist Party learn to live with Jack Ma?
Monday 9 November 2020
Until last week Jack Ma was on course to cement his status as a Chinese business icon and serial creator of billionaires in his own maverick image. Then he collided with the Chinese state.
After a brief, tense meeting with government officials, the flotation of Ma’s online financial services giant, Ant Group, was suspended. It was going to be the biggest IPO in history. Now it’s unclear if it will happen at all.
What went wrong? What does it mean for business in China? What does it mean for Ma? Rui Ma – no relation, but deeply immersed in the Chinese fintech revolution – went in search of answers. Giles Whittell, editor