Saturday, January 2, 2021

Alibaba - China - Capitalism ... and .. ..

அழகான பொண்ணு நான் அதுக்கேத்த கண்ணுதான்

அழகான பொண்ணு நான் அதுக்கேத்த கண்ணுதான்

எங்கிட்ட இருப்பதெல்லாம் தன்மானம்  ஒண்ணு  தான்

 


If you were singing to self and visualing the scene as you read this, it is a sure indicator that you are an old person !  .. .. Can you identify the person below ?

 


Though the Left parties here would laud and look forward to China – it perhaps no longer is the paragon of Communism (forget that people would not blame China for the virus that shut the World for an year + and WHO so carefully named it COVID 19 ensuring that it has no reference to the place of its perceived emanation and spread !!)  Between 1958 and 1962, 45 million people starved to death in China as the result of the largest socialist experiment in history. Mao called this experiment the “Great Leap Forward,” but for China it was a disaster. Today, China is the world's leading export nation, ahead of the United States and Germany.  

Year 2020 was an year of Corona and it also saw a giant’s downfall in China that raises so many questions about China “state capitalism” model. One, of course, is where the lines-not-to-be-crossed exist. Tech outfits from Ant to Tencent to Baidu now know it’s best not to call Chinese banks “pawnshops,” as Ma did on Oct. 24. On a more basic level, though, tech CEOs are learning it’s dangerous to encroach on the turf of China’s state banks.

Asia’s biggest economy started the year with huge ambitions to buttress its technological clout. Ma’s ginormous Ant Group initial public offering was at the center of that marketing campaign. It was to be history’s biggest IPO. And Ma’s journey from Hangzhou English teacher to China’s Jeff Bezos personified the meritocratic future China’s leaders are said to be plotting. Ant wasn’t listing in New York, where Ma’s Alibaba Group went public in 2014. The dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong signalled China Inc.’s dominance. To punctuate the point: the listing was to coincide with Nov. 3, the day of the U.S. election. It would’ve been quite a way to troll Donald Trump, who lost the U.S. presidency to Joe Biden that day. Ma and Trump, after all, have a bit of history.

In January 2017, 10 days before Trump moved to the White House, Ma made a very public visit to Trump Tower in New York. Ma discussed plans for his empire to create 1 million U.S. jobs, delighting the highly transactional Trump. The bromance wouldn’t last, though. The trade war and disruptions to supply chains had Ma distancing himself from Trump 20 months later. “The promise,” Ma said in September 2018, “was made on the premise of friendly U.S.-China partnership and rational trade relations. That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled.” Ma focused instead on the home market—and the ways in which fintech giant Ant would expand from payments to investments to insurance and beyond. Ma’s ambitions, though, unraveled in the time it took him to make an October 24 speech in Shanghai. There, Ma expressed what may be recorded as the costliest comments in history. Ma accused Beijing regulators of stifling innovation. China’s regulatory empire struck back in spectacular fashion, causing Ma to shelve his IPO. In the two months after his speech, Ma lost about $7 billion of net worth, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaire’s List.



The halt to the Ant listing and Alibaba’s dive amid investigations have helped to lift a notably different entrepreneur into the spotlight as China’s richest man: Nongfu Spring Chairman Zhong Shanshan (the man pictured at the start). And rather than Alibaba and Ant, it’s Nongfu that is helping to mint a new crop of billionaires at the end of a pandemic year full of surprises.  Zhong is worth $78 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today. That makes him the No. 1 richest person in China, No. 8 in the world, No. 1 in Asia, and nearly $20 billion richer than Ma, if you optimistically assume Ant’s recent IPO valuation eventually sticks and Ma’s wealth benefits.

Zhong’s fortune has rocketed with the Sept. 8 listing of his main business, Nongfu Springs, which controls about a quarter of China’s bottled water market. From their IPO price of HK$21.50, they ended today at HK$54.90. His more than 80% stake limits Nongfu’s trading liquidity, yet select global investors have gotten in. Funds associated with Fidelity International, Coatue Management and ORIX Asia Capital have profited from the stock’s rise.   Zhong’s fortune also got a big bump this year from an IPO by Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise at the Shanghai Stock Exchange.  

Moving away, :  ‘Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum’ [Alibaba and 40  Thieves] was released in 1956   directed and produced by T. R. Sundaram under his production banner Modern Theatres. The film starred MG Ramachandran and P. Bhanumathi.  It was a story of Alibaba, a poor woodcutter, who becomes wealthy after finding a secret cave which contains various treasures and antiques. He resolves to keep his source of wealth a secret to lead a peaceful life. Whether he keeps it a secret and protects the treasure from falling into the wrong hands forms the rest of the story.  It was stated to be a movie   shot in Gevacolor and is notable for being the first Tamil and South Indian full-length colour film.   It was a milestone in Ramachandran's career and became a success at the box office which was largely attributed to it being the first full-length colour film in South India. The songs also attained popularity. The film was later dubbed in Telugu as Ali Baba 40 Dongalu.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

2.1.2021.

  

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