As Chinese Government Control of Economy Grows, Entrepreneur Jack Ma Joins Communist Party

(p. B3) HONG KONG — Jack Ma, China’s richest man and the guiding force behind its biggest e-commerce company, belongs to an elite club of power brokers, 89 million strong: the Chinese Communist Party.
. . .
The disclosure of Mr. Ma’s membership reflects the thinking that the party controls the economy and society, said Guo Yuhua, a sociology professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing and a critic of the party.
“It’s going backward from the Deng Xiaoping era, when the party advocated the separation of the party and the government,” she said, referring to the party leader who ultimately governed China during its early years of reform in the 1970s and ’80s.
The disclosure also drew attention because Mr. Ma had in the past tried to keep his distance from the government. When asked at public appearances how he managed government relations, he often said, “Fall in love with the government, but don’t get married.”
But as Mr. Xi tightens ideological controls and the power of the state grows, many successful entrepreneurs have made a point of showing their party loyalty.

For the full story, see:
Li Yuan. “In China, Billionaires Sidle Up to the Party.”The New York Times (Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018): B3.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Nov. 27, 2018, and has the title “Jack Ma, China’s Richest Man, Belongs to the Communist Party. Of Course.”)

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