Is that really Jack Ma in 20-minute martial arts film?

Alibaba founder Jack Ma reportedly plays a master of tai chi in a 20-minute movie called Gong Shou Dao.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma reportedly plays a master of tai chi in a 20-minute movie called Gong Shou Dao.PHOTO: WEIBO/MAYUN

BEIJING (China Daily) - Alibaba founder Jack Ma, a martial arts fan, is making his debut in a 20-minute movie called Gong Shou Dao (translated as the art of attack and defence).

An eight-minute clip will be screened at the Tmall Double 11 Night Carnival, a TV gala by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The TV gala on Nov 11 - China's biggest online shopping day since 2009 - will air on three satellite channels in Beijing, Shenzhen and Zhejiang province as well as on several video-streaming sites like Taobaolive and Youku.

Pop diva Faye Wong teams up with Ma to sing the movie's theme song.

Ma, 53, is a fan of Louis Cha's wuxia (martial arts) novels and has been practising tai chi for more than 30 years. He even tells employees to use fictional warriors' names from literature classics as their nicknames at work.

The movie's cast includes action stars Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Wu Jing and Tony Jaa from Thailand as well as A-list actors Huang Xiaoming, Tong Dawei and Li Chen.

Ma was inspired to make the movie in 2009 when he met Jet Li. They co-founded a company to promote tai chi in 2011 and decided to make a film to realise their goal.

Ma reportedly plays a master of tai chi while Jet Li plays a Buddhist monk.

A source close to Ma said: "Ma has a young heart. He loves art and culture. And martial arts has played an important role in shaping him."

The complete version of Gong Shou Dao will be streamed on Youku, the online video provider affiliated to Alibaba, and screened in theatres.

An Alibaba statement said: "As the movie aims to popularise and spread Chinese culture... people will be invited to watch for free."