Following its recent $400 billion valuation, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is closing the gap on Amazon. But it seems the two companies’ leaders could be having a personal showmanship competition of their own. Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos took to the stage in a 13-foot tall robot, but Jack Ma may have just outdone him with his tribute to Michael Jackson.
At his company’s 18th birthday celebrations on September 8th, Ma, who is Asia’s richest man with an estimated net worth of $37.6 billion, took to the stage on a motorbike while wearing an outfit resembling the one worn by Jackson during his Dangerous world tour.
Using a mask to hide his identity, the Alibaba boss proceeded to throw out some Jackson-esque dance moves and groin thrusts in front the 40,000 gathered employees. He then removed his disguise, which was greeted with roars of approval from the crowd, and was joined onstage by what are assumed to be other Alibaba execs for a quick dance to excerpts from Dangerous and Black & White.
Ma’s theatrics were certainly more physical than Bezos’s, who was sitting inside Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology’s Method-2 ‘mech’ at Amazon’s annual MARS conference – an acronym for machine learning, home automation, robotics, and space exploration.
This isn’t the first time Ma has shown a penchant for performing on stage. At Alibaba’s tenth anniversary celebrations back in 2009, he appeared in full heavy metal attire to blast out a heart-wrenching performance of Can You Feel the Love tonight from the Lion King (skip to the 01:16 mark in the video below). Here’s looking forward to Bezos doing his Elvis impersonation at Amazon’s next shareholders’ meeting.