Joseph Tsai appointed as Alibaba’s new chairman, known for being supportive of cryptocurrency.

Alibaba has announced that Joseph Tsai, who is known for his support of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, will replace the current Chairman Daniel Zhang. Tsai is currently the Executive Vice Chairman of the company. Eddie Wu, who is the chairman of Taobao and Tmall, will become the new CEO of the $240 billion company. The appointments will take effect on September 10, 2023.

Alibaba is currently undergoing a six-way restructuring to create a family of standalone leaders in businesses such as cloud computing, logistics, and international commerce. Some in the crypto community speculate that this leadership shuffle may signal Alibaba’s intention to embrace Web3 and crypto in China as the country continues to experiment with the sector in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, which is a Special Administrative Region of China, has recently shown a clear desire to rebuild its position as a hub for the crypto industry. The city’s financial regulator implemented its new regulatory framework for crypto earlier this month, allowing retail investors to trade specific “large-cap tokens” on licensed exchanges. However, some argue that there is no guarantee that China will change its stance against crypto.

“The fantasy for exchanges is thinking that if officials let us get a license, then maybe they’ll start a sort of crypto-connect trading link with mainland China.”