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SOEs Turn to Jack Ma for Digital Innovation

By Zhao Runhua / Jun 17, 2019 05:40 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Alibaba’s Jack Ma is getting friendly with the top echelon of China’s SOE supervisor.

He met with the head of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) on Sunday. It’s rare for SASAC to publicize a meeting between its chief and the leader of an internet company — a search on the commission’s website turns up no announcements of similar meetings with rivals Tencent and Baidu.

Details of the meeting are scarce. But SASAC hopes state-owned enterprises it supervises will "practically cooperate" with Alibaba, to foster integration of the online and offline economies, said Hao Peng, SASAC’s party secretary, adding that state-owned and private enterprises should together “tackle risks and challenges.”

Ma gave a similarly rosy portrait of the meeting, saying he looks forward to Alibaba’s cooperation and hopes to establish a long-term collaboration with SASAC.

SASAC has been driving lately to inject life into ossified state-run companies by inviting Chinese and foreign firms to make equity investments and set up strategic partnerships with central SOEs.

Related: Editorial: To Achieve SOE Reform, Government Must Step Back and Empower Companies

Contact reporter Zhao Runhua (runhuazhao@caixin.com)

This post was edited to clarify Hao Peng's comments at his meeting with Jack Ma.

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