You probably wouldn’t see Tim Cook doing this anytime soon.
Jack Ma, Alibaba CEO and Asia’s richest man, turned up at his company’s 18th anniversary birthday bash dressed as Michael Jackson.
He first rode onstage in a black motorcycle, before getting off and striking a number of poses, in a black and gold outfit similar to Jackson’s iconic Dangerous World Tour suit.
But because he was wearing a mask, the stadium of 40,000 Alibaba employees only broke into surprised applause when he stepped forward and took off the bejewelled accessory. What an entrance.
Watch the whole performance:
At the end of the opening sequence (which included Ma’s deputies marching onstage in Beyoncé’s “Formation” style) Ma put on a black helmet, and rode his motorcycle into a cage, which then hoisted him into the ceiling.
People watching the live stream of the party on Weibo were rapt.
“Not bad, an admirable effort,” said one.
“Okay, I’m applying for a job at Alibaba,” another user commented.
Why Jack Ma is Asia’s richest man
Alibaba is often referred to as China’s Amazon, running the biggest B2B marketplace, as well as the consumer retail juggernaut, Taobao.
Remember that last year in November, Taobao sales on its Singles’ Day shopping event (China’s version of Black Friday) moved $14.3 billion in merchandise in 15 hours.
Consider that in comparison, Black Friday last year saw $4.45 billion in spending.
Riding high on Alibaba’s success, Ma addressed the crowd, celebrating Alibaba’s status as the world’s sixth-largest company in terms of market capitalisation.
The company has 54,000 employees globally.