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Alibaba founder Jack Ma makes his debut as film star to mixed reactions


Alibaba founder Jack Ma has ventured into the movie scene, realising his dreams to become a film star and a tai chi master.

He’s starring in Gong Shou Dao (The Art of Attack and Defence), a short film he’s funding, along with other A-list celebrities and martial arts experts such as Donnie Yen and Jet Li.

Publicity for the film

Like a shrewd movie publicist, he had been ramping up the publicity for the film ahead of its release and had released a duet he recorded with Mandopop diva Faye Wong, as the theme song for his short film.

He was also seen whacking other high-profile martial arts stars in a trailer released during China’s Singles’ Day countdown gala event.

Mixed reactions

Well, the 20 minute short film was released online over the weekend to mixed reactions.

Most netizens commented that since Ma is a rich guy, he can do whatever he likes as long as it makes him happy.

Translation: The amount of money you have determines the degree of arrogance.

Translation: Of all the martial arts styles in the world, only the art of “wealth” will not be defeated.

Jet Li defends the short film

Li, the executive producer of the film, has responded to sceptics of the film saying that even if one has money, he might not be able to gather so many stars and put together a film like this. It’s more about the promotion of Chinese martial arts.

Then again, one of the comments on Li’s Facebook post probably sums it up: “To be fair, if I was a multimillionaire, I would probably fund a martial arts film where I fight Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Seagal etc, so I totally understand Jack Ma’s way of thinking!”

You can watch the entire short film here:

Top image via Youku.

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