Jack Ma or Ma Yun, the founder of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, we recently learned is living a reclusive life in Japan. Alibaba Cloud computing, a cloud computing service provider under the Alibaba Group, experienced a hardware failure that affected not only the OKX cryptocurrency trading platform with the sender’s account balance showing zero U.S. dollars, but it also affected the official websites of government agencies and businesses, such as the Monetary Authority of Macau was unable to function properly.

Alibaba Cloud outage

The aggregating financial news websites Investing, DealStreetAsia, and other media reported that on December 18, that OKX was forced to go on a 7-hour hiatus, making it impossible for users to perform trades.

According to Investing, OKX is a Seychelles-based cryptocurrency trading platform with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and a subsidiary of China’s OK Group.

According to Mirror, OKX was founded by Xu Mingxing in 2017. OKX’s main business is to provide users of multiple crypto asset trading services.

On February 2, 2021, the exchange officially launched the Chinese name “Ouyi.” In January 2022, OKEx changed its name to OKX. OKX was originally headquartered in Beijing, before the Chinese regulator banned cryptocurrency trading.

On October 13, 2021, the exchange issued a “Notice on management policy in China,” declaring that it would exit the Chinese market and not establish regional offices or teams. Even though OKX officially announced that it would no longer be in China, it still has a large research and development staff working in the country, including a large number of OKX engineers.

After investigating Alibaba Cloud, it was confirmed that OKX disrupted trading operations due to a hardware failure in Alibaba Cloud’s data center in Hong Kong. However, Alibaba Cloud had no further comment.

According to HK News, the hardware failure not only affected the official websites of many government agencies but those of private enterprises such as Macau cement factory, Aomi, and mFood. At the same time, many food delivery platforms also had to suspend operations.

Jack Ma temporarily living in Japan

Ma has made few public appearances since the Shanghai Financial Forum in 2020, when he criticized Beijing’s regulators.

Nikkei Asia reported, “In the name of the commonwealth, the CCP control of tech giants and the wealthy has been tightened. Jack Ma’s loss of status in China not only represents the end of China’s socialist market economy, but also shows that China is returning to the planned economy of the Mao Zedong era.”

Ma was able to thrive in China mainly because Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the CCP, allowed him to join the CCP. At the CCP’s 16th National Congress held in 2002, Jiang wrote the so-called Three Represents theory (the theory that allows owners of private businesses to be admitted to the CCP) into the  CCP’s Party Charter.

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