- Jack Ma, a tai chi practitioner, stars in a newly-released kung fu short.
- “Gongshoudao” sees the Alibaba founder defeat a string of foes.
- He beat a sumo wrestler, a weapons expert, and wushu master Jet Li.
- Alibaba is relaunching the movie for a global audience on February 16.
- Or you can watch the previous version in this article.
Last November, Alibaba released a 20-minute over-the-top short film depicting Ma, 53, as an unbeatable martial artist who beats foe after foe in a string of improbable fights.
The company has since relaunched the movie in time for Chinese New Year. It will be available here on Friday 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST/7 p.m. GMT.
Alternatively, the previous version is still online. You can watch it by scrolling down.
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In “Gongshoudao” – which translates to “The Art of Attack and Defence” – Ma fends off eight attacks using tai chi, a traditional Chinese martial art that involves grand, fluid movements.
Ma’s rivals in the movie include retired wushu world champion Jet Li, and Donnie Yen, who played the blind warrior Chirrut Imwe in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
At the end of the movie, Ma fights Li and Yen, and wins an ancient manuscript with “Gongshoudao” written on it.
The film, which has minimal dialogue, sees the eccentric billionaire drop kitsch martial arts one-liners like: “One that has a sense of justice fears nothing.”
In one scene, he asks Mongolian sumo wrestler Asashoryu Akinori if he had eaten recently, before saying “sorry” and punching him multiple times in the stomach.
At another point, a gaggle of bikini-clad women whisper “Prince Charming!” and “He’s so cool!” to each other as Ma walks past.
The movie ends with video messages from more familiar faces, including Hollywood actor Jason Statham and boxer Manny Pacquiao, challenging Ma to another fight – suggesting that there could be a sequel to come.
“Gongshoudao” is currently available on Youku, a Chinese video channel owned by Alibaba. Watch it here (there are English subtitles):
Since Saturday, the movie has garnered over 106 million views and some 11,000 comments, many of which praise Ma’s acting skills.
Ma has been studying tai chi since 1988, Alibaba said last month. A spokeswoman for the company previously said that Ma took part in the movie to “promote exercise and wellness and cultural exchanges among people of different cultures.”
Li produced the movie, and none of the actors in “Gongshoudao” took a paycheck for their roles in the movie, Alibaba said.
The movie’s original November 11 release coincided with Singles’ Day, a major shopping event in China created by Alibaba.
The date was chosen to be a celebration of singledom because its digits – 11/11 – look like people standing on their own.