Alibaba's Jack Ma duets with Faye Wong

Barely a week ago, we heard Jack Ma is making his big screen debut as a Tai chi master in martial arts movie GSD or Gong Shou Dao in Mandarin.

It appears the Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman has another surprise in store.

He posted on his weibo a duet he recorded with Mandopop diva Faye Wong, as a theme song for his short film.

The song is titled Feng Qing Yang, alluding to a Mount Hua swordsman from legendary novelist Louis Cha's famed Smiling Proud Wanderer.

The richest man in China is reportedly a big fan of the famously reclusive songstress. Last year, Ma, 53, paid 160mil yuan (S$32.9 million) for Wong, 48, to stage a concert in Shanghai in 2016.

The location stamp on Ma's weibo post showed that he was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was attending the launch of the DFTZ (Digital Free Trade Zone) First Phase, which went live on Nov 3.

GSD is produced by Jet Li and is due for release on Nov 11, which is known as Singles' Day or Alibaba 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, a day dubbed the world's largest online shopping event.

Jack Ma's friendship with Australian family

  • Chinese billionaire Jack Ma plans to donate US$20 million (S$28.17 million) to fund a new scholarship program at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia.
  • The scholarship is known as the "Ma-Morley Scholarship Program", in honour of Mr Ken Morley, a late friend of the Alibaba founder.
  • Mr Ma met Mr Morley in 1980, when the latter's family was on tour in Ma's hometown of Hangzhou as part of the Australia-China Friendship Society.
  • Ma asked if he could talk to Morley to practice his English.
  • Ma had first struck up a conversation with Mr Morley's oldest son, David Morley.
  • A long friendship grew between Mr Ma and the Morley family.
  • Mr Ma would write letters to the Morley and family, and Mr Ken Morley would correct the letters to improve Mr Ma's English.
  • Mr Ma later visited Australia, having been invited by Morley’s family. A picture from the time shows the young Ma leaning on the handrails of a Sydney Harbour ferry with the Sydney Opera House in the background.
  • Mr Ma and Mr Morley remained close friends until Mr Morley’s death in 2004.
  • Ken Morley’s son David, who still lives in Newcastle, said the family is happy to see Jack remember his Newcastle connection and honour his father’s egalitarian values through the scholarship programme.