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Asia’s richest man quietly paid a visit to Barack Obama

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2015 file photo, Alibaba founder Jack Ma speaks at the CEO Summit, attended by 800 business leaders from around the region representing U.S. and Asia-Pacific companies, in Manila, Philippines, ahead of the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. An investigation by The Associated Press has found that the president of an influential anti-counterfeiting group owns Alibaba stock, has close ties to a key Alibaba vice president and uses family members to run his coalition. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Content of the meeting: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
By Alice Truong

Deputy editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, met with US president Barack Obama today (May 17) at the White House.

In brief remarks to reporters, Ma, who in April became Asia’s richest man after an Alibaba affiliate raised a new financing round, said his meeting with Obama was “very good.”

An Alibaba representative confirmed Ma had a closed-door meeting at the White House that was not publicly listed in the president’s schedule. The two also had lunch together. The company declined to discuss the nature of their conversations.

In October, Obama and Ma shared a stage at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, where they discussed climate change and the role government and businesses can play in supporting entrepreneurs. “Government is simple—just reduce the tax, or no tax, for these guys,” Ma said to applause and laughter from the audience.

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