China’s island province of Hainan has taken a major step forward in its ambitious plan to become a free trade zone.
And it’s gotten some star power to help.
The inaugural meeting of the provincial government’s Business Leaders’ Advisory Council saw some major personnel announcements Saturday – most notably that Alibaba chief Jack Ma and Tencent head Pony Ma will serve as chairman and vice chairman of the Council’s board, respectively.
Leading members of the Council also include Gao Ning, chairman of Sinochem Group, and Zhou Qiren, professor at Peking University’s National School of Development.
The municipal government of Hainan city Sanya also inked plans to cooperate digitally with Tencent. Tencent plans to establish regional headquarters in the city, as well as expand its gaming businesses in Hainan.
Related: Can Hainan Live Up to the Hype?