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Founder makes rare public visit as Beijing tries to restore confidence within the entrepreneurial class
HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) -Alibaba founder Jack Ma has returned to China, ending a more than year-long stay overseas that was viewed by industry as reflecting the sober mood of China's private businesses and troubled policymakers trying to spur the economy. The return of China's best-known entrepreneur may help to quell the concerns of the country’s private-sector businesses after a bruising two-year regulatory crackdown. Online discussion saying that Ma was in China began emerging on Chinese social media early on Monday and his return was confirmed by a school he had visited and the Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post newspaper.
Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) and Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) are two very different e-commerce companies. Alibaba owns Taobao and Tmall, the two largest consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer marketplaces, respectively, in China. Shopify doesn't operate any online marketplaces, unlike Alibaba.