Jack Ma Biopic Series in the Works at France’s Oble (EXCLUSIVE)

“Jack Magic,” a biographical series about Jack Ma, the colorful co-founder of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, is in development at French production house Oble. The series is adapted from Duncan Clark’s best-selling book “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built.”

Details of the series such as start date, director and eventual distributor, broadcaster or streamer have not been revealed. But Oble said that it will work closely with Clark, who is providing on-going advice and insights.

Published in 2016, “The House That Jack Ma Built” charts Ma’s epic rise from modest English teacher to wildly successful corporate titan, who personified China’s booming economy and Internet market. Ma and his team in 2014 oversaw the largest global flotation in history) on the New York Stock Exchange.

However, in 2020 he riled the political establishment with comments about regulation of the finance-technology sector. Within days, another groundbreaking IPO, of Ma’s spinoff Ant Group, was canceled on government orders. For much of the past two years, he has rarely been seen in public, lost his chairmanship of Alibaba, stepped down from his African educational charity.

None of this has dented his iconic status and international reputation, both of which are potential thorns in the side of the Beijing regime. Despite his current estrangement from Alibaba, reports that Chinese police had this month arrested a man with the same surname wiped $25 billion form Alibaba’s market valuation.

“Jack Ma’s life-story is fascinating but not well known in the West. He’s an unlikely business hero who was among the very first in China to understand the potential of the internet and who against all the odds was able to harness it, navigating regulations and beating Silicon Valley giants to build a home-grown champion,” said Hugo Brisbois, co-founder of Oble. “With this series we wish to celebrate the innovative mind of a passionate man with whom we, as a young ambitious team, identify closely.”

Book cover: The House That Jack Ma Built.
Duncan Clark

“From his remarkable life story and what it tells us about a rapidly changing China to his lasting imprint on China’s economy and culture, Ma has in recent years become a victim of his own success, his firm targeted by a government keen to reassert its authority,” said Clark. “Jack Ma has served as an inspiration to entrepreneurs and investors far beyond China’s shores, yet his story isn’t well known by the wider public.”

Oble is an International production and distribution outfit. It describes itself as “acting at every stage of the creation, from developing a concept to its international funding as well as producing and handling worldwide sales.”

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