China’s Richest Man, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Revealed as Communist Party Member

China’s richest man, Jack Ma, the head of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is a Communist Party member, state media has revealed. It has previously been assumed the country’s most famous capitalist was politically unattached, but the People’s Daily newspaper revealed Ma’s membership in a list of people it said had helped the country “reform and open up.” Ma is China’s richest man with a fortune of $35.8 billion, according to Forbes. Alibaba dominates China’s online retail market. The company declined to comment on his membership, with a spokesperson saying only: “Political affiliation of any executive does not influence the company’s business decision-making process.” It’s unclear why the state newspaper chose to divulge Ma’s political affiliation at this time.