The Star/Asia News Network
China's Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma speaks during the launching of the country's Digital-Free Trade Zone in Kuala Lumpur on March 22, 2017. (AFP/Mohd Rasfan)
Alibaba founder Jack Ma is full of surprises.
The richest man in China apparently dreams of being a wuxia hero or a movie kungfu superstar to be exact. The world-famous entrepreneur posted on his Weibo account on Oct. 28 about his latest project – starring in a short film about martial arts.
In the post, the 53-year-old wrote six words in Chinese, “Na yi ye…Na yi meng.” Translated, it means, “That one night …That one dream.”
The accompanying poster gives the movie title as GSD or Gong Shou Dao in Mandarin, meaning the ‘guardians of martial arts’.
In the poster, the Alibaba group executive chairman takes centrestage as the Taichi Master. Ma is said to have been practicing Taichi since 1988, and even conducts classes to teach fellow entrepreneurs the Chinese martial art.
Poster for Jack Ma’s short film GSD or Gong Shou Dao. (From left) Jet Li, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Zou Shiming, Asashoryu Akinori, Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, Jack Ma, Jacky Wu Jing, Yuen Woo Ping,Tony Jaa, Tony Ching Siu Tung and Jacky Heung Cho. (Weibo via The Star/File)
Apart from Ma, the poster also features 11 other famous faces in Chinese cinema as well as martial arts such as Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Jacky Wu Jing, Yuen Woo Ping, Tony Ching Siu Tung, Jacky Heung Cho, Thai action star Tony Jaa, professional boxer Zou Shiming, retired Mongolian Sumo champion Asashoryu Akinori and Australian actress Natasha Liu Bordizzo (who played Snow Vase in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
The short film is produced by wushu superstar Li, with whom Ma co-founded the Taiji Zen martial arts academy in 2013.
GSD is made to promote Taichi to a global audience by presenting its benefits to health and happiness and as a window onto Chinese culture.
This view is shared by Ma’s fellow cast members, none of whom took a paycheck for their participation, according to Alizila, which reports news from Alibaba Group in English language. GSD is scheduled for nationwide release in China on November 11. The short film will be subtitled in English, and made available to viewers outside of China.