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Business

Minxin Pei: A reckoning looms for China's billionaires

Retreat of pro-market reform and arrests of tycoons bode ill for high-profile businessmen

Alibaba Group Holding Chairman Jack Ma talks to young entrepreneurs and students at the University of Nairobi in Kenya on July 20.   © Reuters

Jack Ma Yun, founder and chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, recently caused a stir when he claimed that a planned economy is now possible thanks to big data. Liu Qiangdong (also known as Richard Liu), founder of JD.com, a rival of Alibaba, went a step further, saying he had experienced an epiphany that "communism can be realized in our generation" because robots would be doing all the work of humans.

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