Jack Ma was clearly absent from a list of major Chinese entrepreneurs. (TO FILE)

Strong points

  • Jack Ma visibly absent from the list of major Chinese entrepreneurs
  • This highlights how much the iconic Alibaba co-founder has clashed with Beijing
  • His now infamous rebuke of Chinese regulators sparked backlash

Jack Ma was conspicuously absent from a list of top Chinese entrepreneurs released by state media on Tuesday, highlighting how much the iconic Alibaba co-founder has clashed in Beijing.

Ma, honored at home for building some of his country’s biggest companies, didn’t make a difference in a Shanghai Securities News front-page comment praising the tech leaders. Instead, the official Chinese newspaper touted its big rival Pony Ma as “rewriting the mobile age” with Tencent Holdings Ltd. Also on his list was BYD Co. chairman Wang Chuanfu, co-founder of Xiaomi Corp. Lei Jun and Huawei Technologies Co.’s Ren Zhengfei.

The brief editorial – which was published the same day as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expected to unveil its findings – could help allay fears Tencent could be caught in a wider industry crackdown now focused on Ma’s Alibaba and Ant Group Co. Beijing has launched a campaign to curb the growing power of private tech companies in almost every aspect of Chinese life, as evidenced by the ubiquity of Tencent’s WeChat messaging service. Shares of Tencent and Xiaomi rose more than 2% on Tuesday.

Jack Ma’s absence is telling given that the Shanghai Securities News is the most prominent business publication in Alibaba’s backyard. The billionaire made his first public comments in January since his demise late last year, after his now infamous rebuke from Chinese regulators sparked a backlash that derailed the record initial public offering of $ 35 billion. Ant dollars and launched an investigation into its e-commerce giant. Much about the future of China’s most recognizable and outspoken businessman remains unclear.

“A generation of Chinese entrepreneurs emerged from the rigid structures of our old economic system with the desire to escape poverty and the passion to achieve business ambitions,” wrote the newspaper, which is supported by the news agency. Xinhua official. “They have breathed new life into China’s economic reforms.”

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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