CHINA : Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has announced a disheartening reality check: that he never said he would provide financial support to his 8-year-old lookalike through university.
The heart-string tugging story became a hit sensation yesterday after official Chinese news outlets, and yours truly, spread the alleged official statement from Ma like wildfire.
However, dishearteningly, the feel-good story turned out to be not of his words. “The news is completely false,” he was reported telling Fortune magazine earlier today.
Many Chinese netizens joked that Jack Ma withdrew his decision to support his lookalike following a paternity test revealing that he wasn’t his son.
As mood-crushing as it may be for us, just think of how little Fan Xiaoqin must feel. The 8-year-old boy from the rural Jiangxi province became an overnight internet sensation for his striking resemblance to the world-renowned businessman.
Despite the similarities in appearance, “mini Ma” doesn’t share the same good fortune as Jack Ma. The 8-year-old lives in poverty with his sick mother, disabled father and grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. His life story touched the hearts of everyone and anyone that heard his story.
Now, while Ma has dismissed rumors that he isn’t providing financial support to his lookalike, make no mistake- Ma is no miser. Back in 2014, before Alibaba became publicly listed, Ma and fellow co-founder Joseph Tsai set up two charitable trusts funded by share options worth about 2% of the company’s equity. Today, it is estimated that the trusts are worth billions upon billions of dollars.
It’s selfless acts like these that earned Ma a place on the 2015 Global Chinese Philanthropy list, second only to Hong Kong real estate tycoon Li Ka-shing. That being said, on the same year, Ma donated $20 million to charity.
The billionaire businessman hailed from humble beginnings as an English teacher and encountered countless phenomenal rejections everywhere he stepped early in his career before finally founding Alibaba. That being said, Fan is merely 8-years-old, and has a full life ahead. He could very well shock the world by following Jack Ma’s footsteps in becoming a billionaire, equalling him in not only looks, but success as well. – The Inscriber