Jack Ma personifies the contradiction of Chinese ideology

Jack Ma personifies the contradiction of Chinese ideology

Imagine if Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates disappeared from public view and it was automatically assumed that they had been arrested on the orders of President Joe Biden and were being questioned in a secret government prison.

This is the situation in the second largest economy in the world, where Jack Ma, the Bezos of China with more more than $ 50 billion to his name, has appeared only once since October – in a short video that has done little to quell speculation that the state is being held hostage by the state. Ma disappeared after Chinese authorities blocked the initial public offering of her fintech group Ant Financial, which would have been the highest listing in history.

The latest rumors suggest he is playing golf on an island in the South China Sea and could still emerge with his wealth almost intact. But the brutal humiliation of China’s most famous entrepreneur reveals the sharp and growing contradiction at the heart of the Chinese state.

On the one hand, President Xi Jinping has embarked on a grand project to bring about the “great rejuvenation” of the Chinese nation, which can only be achieved through rapid economic growth which relies heavily on private enterprise. . But at the same time, it centralized political power, expanded the public sector, and asserted the right of the Communist Party to fit into all aspects of people’s life and affairs.

“East, west, south, north and center, the party rules everything,” is one of Xi’s favorite slogans. Even if…

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