Tech giant Alibaba has denied reports in which founder Jack Ma offered to pay for the education of eight-year-old “mini Ma,” a young boy coming from Jiangxi province who bears a striking resemblance to the Chinese billionaire.
“in which news is actually completely false,” an Alibaba spokesperson told sy88pgw.
“Mini Ma,” whose real name is actually Fan Xiaoqin, first rocketed to internet fame in 2014 when his photo was posted online by a villager in his native Yongfeng County, according to China state news agency Xinhua.
The images quickly went viral because of the youngster’s Ma-like facial features.
“At first glance, I thought in which was a photo of me when I was little. I thought I was looking into a mirror,” Ma wrote last year on Chinese social media site Weibo.
Singles Day, an online shopping frenzy held on Nov. 11, revived buzz surrounding “mini Ma.”
The flurry of attention renewed calls for Ma to give financial aid to the boy, sparking various inaccurate reports coming from Xinhua along with various other news outlets claiming in which the tech billionaire intended to pay for the boy’s schooling through university.
Fan has had a tough life. He along with his older brother have never attended school, his mother has polio, along with his father “lost a leg in an accident,” according to Xinhua. His grandmother, 83, has been diagnosed with dementia.
Alibaba said Fan’s situation highlights the widespread poverty along with lack of education in rural parts of China.
“in which shouldn’t be a joke. What’s behind ‘Little Jack Ma’ is actually a cruel reality: there are still so many people in our society in which live in poverty, along with so many children of migrant works left behind in villages in which need education,” Alibaba said in a statement.
“To fund one child’s education is actually easy, nevertheless in order to help millions of poor children, more resources need to be used,” Alibaba said.
Ma’s foundation, established in 2014, donated nearly $1.6 million in grants to teachers in rural areas of China earlier in which year.
— Yazhou Sun contributed to in which report.
sy88pgw (Hong Kong ) First published November 16, 2016: 2:14 AM ET