Alibaba appoints crypto-friendly chair after Daniel Zhang’s departure.

Joe Tsai, who is about to step down as the executive vice chair of China’s technology giant Alibaba, will become the new chair of the company, replacing Daniel Zhang. In an announcement made on June 20, Alibaba stated that Zhang would be stepping down as the company’s chair and CEO on September 10, after which he will continue to serve as the chair and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group. Tsai, through his wealth management firm Blue Pool Capital, has invested in several crypto firms, including FTX, Polygon’s $450-million funding round in February, and Web3 firm Artifact Labs.

I like crypto

— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) December 28, 2021

Eddie Yongming Wu, the chair of Taobao and Tmall Group, will succeed Zhang as Alibaba’s CEO and also take his place on the company’s board of directors. Alibaba is one of the world’s largest companies, with a market capitalization of over $225 billion at the time of publication, ranking behind Tencent, Kweichow Moutai, and ICBC among China-based firms.

“I look forward to working with Eddie to spark our next phase of growth through technology and innovation,” said Tsai.

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China has had a mixed relationship with crypto and blockchain. The country cracked down on mining firms in 2021, prompting a mass exodus of companies to other jurisdictions, but it has also been conducting trials of a digital yuan through the People’s Bank of China.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), on the other hand, appear to operate in a regulatory gray area in China. In 2021, Alibaba launched an NFT marketplace for copyright trading as well as an NFT solution under its cloud business unit, but the latter was deleted without explanation shortly after its launch.

Magazine: China’s wave of ChatGPT rivals, Alibaba goes multichain: Asia Express