Handicapped by a mother of a fine, Ma’s put his balls on the ...

World

Handicapped by a mother of a fine, Ma’s put his balls on the golf course

The Alibaba founder, who has kept a low profile since October, has been hit with a R40bn antitrust fine

Tony Munroe

Once seemingly untouchable, Alibaba founder Jack Ma has endured a tumultuous run that saw his Chinese e-commerce giant hit with a record 18bn yuan (about R40bn) antitrust fine on Saturday, resolving one key uncertainty, even as others persist for him and his business empire.

The reversal of fortune for the 56-year-old, who has all but disappeared from public view since an October speech blasting China’s regulatory system, has been striking for an entrepreneur whose transformation of commerce in China, and his relentless optimism, commanded cult-like reverence.

Ma, who stepped down from Alibaba in 2019, but looms large in the corporate psyche and eyes of investors, had revelled in pushing boundaries with audacious statements, taking a high profile, even as most Chinese peers kept their heads down...

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