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Louis Cha 'Jin Yong'

‘If not for you, I wonder if there would have been an Alibaba’ – Jack Ma pays tribute to Chinese literary giant Louis Cha ‘Jin Yong’

  • Alibaba chairman pens a tribute to Louis Cha and the virtues of being a xia, a chivalrous hero
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2018, 9:32am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2018, 11:32am

In sorrowful remembrance of Mr Jin Yong

Because of the word xia (a chivalrous hero and the virtue he exemplifies), I have felt close to you for half my life.

Your writing is vast, and your heart was true. I love your writing, which is chivalrous and righteous, bright and clean; I love the person you were, an elegant, honest gentleman with a child’s purity.

At our first meeting, I was a chatterbox. As I chattered away for three hours, you only smiled and listened to me. I still see this moment in my mind’s eye, there might never be a repeat of this moment.

If not for you, I wonder if there would have been an Alibaba. Even if it did exist, it could not have been what it is today, tens of thousands of people being crazy together.

An entrepreneur must do something others cannot; a xia who is great serves his country and his people. A man must be true to his heart, roaming the world as freely as a swordsman. A friend must be open-hearted, unchanging until death.

As this was what you wrote and said, so this was what we believed and did. A group of passionate, righteous people did something meaningful together, something “to make it easy to do business anywhere”. We gave our word and in the years that followed, we rose to challenges and fought battles, we were covered in wounds and fought on despite setbacks, we endured what others could not and accomplished what others would not, but we would not endure an unjust world. Our hearts are young, our dreams heroic, may we be like the xia in your books, boldly walking between heaven and earth.

Yet, a hero’s tenderness ends, as surely as a score in the chivalrous world is settled. You, with a smile, are already gone.

You gave me the courtesy name, Tianxing (Heaven’s Movement, after a line from the Book of Changes: “As Heaven’s movement is ever vigorous, a gentleman must ceaselessly strive along”); I will remember it for life. You gave me the warning, “Trustworthiness must never be abandoned”, I won’t forget it for a moment.

Guo Jing, Huang Rong, Xingdian, the Free and Easy Wanderer, Rolling Thunder Hands, Su Quan, Yuyan … 15 novels full of names. Thanks to you, I often walk into “Repentance Cliff”, argue in “Skyscraping Cliff”, and meet customers in “Brightness Peak” (rooms named after places in the novels).

Integrity, love, responsibility, freedom and ease – we work hard to live out what you taught us.

May love for the country, chivalry and nobility infuse Alibaba’s blood, becoming our ethos for a century – becoming another of your legacies to the world for 102 years. May you, in the next world, approve.

A man is a world, a world is a man.

A great man is gone, an example for others to follow, the road is long, long live chivalry.

With tears,

Jack Ma, Tianxing