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Opinion

Clipping Jack Ma's wings will undermine China's Africa push

Regulatory reckoning likely to stoke fears of unwarranted state-intervention

| Africa
Jack Ma talks to young entrepreneurs at the University of Nairobi in July 2017: he viewed that Africa was the China of 20 years ago.   © Reuters

Dr. Lauren A. Johnston is a research associate, China Institute, SOAS, University of London. She is founder and managing director of New South Economics.

Back in July 2017, Chinese e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma made his first-ever trip to Africa. Visiting Kenya and Rwanda, Ma came away with the view that the Africa of 2017 was "the China of 20 years ago." His actions since then suggest that he remains of the same opinion.

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