Entrepreneurs

Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma is going to be a movie star next. Literally

Alibaba founder Jack Ma
Photo courtesy Alizila
Alibaba founder Jack Ma

Alibaba founder Jack Ma may be sitting at the helm of an e-commerce giant racing towards a $500 billion market capitalization and competing against Amazon, but the 53-year-old former English teacher, who is now worth almost $40 billion, is clearly taking time to enjoy life.

The tech exec will star in a short movie promoting the benefits of tai chi called "Gong Shou Dao" to be released November 11, according to a statement published in Alizila, a site where Alibaba publishes news about the company and its leadership.

Ma will star alongside Natasha Liu Bordizzo, the star of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," retired sumo Grand Champion Asashoryu Akinori and actor and stuntman, Tony Jaa, to name a few. None of the people appearing in the movie will be paid, according to the statement.

The goal of the movie is to promote tai chi, an ancient Chinese exercise regimen, a practice which all of the movie participants, including Ma, believe in. He started practicing tai chi in 1988, Alizila says.

The movie appearance, while it may be a surprising move for a more traditional tech executive, is not entirely out of character for Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba.

In September, Ma dressed up as pop star Michael Jackson and performed at Alibaba's 18th birthday party.

And in 2009, at the 10 year anniversary party for Alibaba, the notable tech exec dressed up as a heavy metal singer and performed "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from the Lion King, according to The Washington Post.

Of course, Ma is the not the only billionaire to appear in a movie. Mark Cuban played a U.S. president in "Sharknado 3: Oh hell no!" in 2015.

See also:

Alibaba's Jack Ma says in 30 years people will only work 4 hours a day

How Jack Ma's foresight helped Alibaba become an e-commerce giant

How Amazon founder Jeff Bezos went from the son of a teen mom to the world's richest person