U.S. billionaire investor Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, praised China’s communist regime for silencing Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
“Communists did the right thing,” Munger said about what the Chinese regime did to Ma, in an interview with CNBC on June 29.
Munger, a longtime business partner of Warren Buffett, said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “just called in Jack Ma” and told him “you aren’t gonna do it, sonny,” pointing out that the Chinese tech billionaire was looking to “wade into banking” and “just do whatever he pleased.”
“I don’t want all of the Chinese system, but I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country,” Munger said.
Ma had publicly criticized China’s financial industry in October 2020 when he said Chinese banks had a “pawnshop mentality” and added that the Chinese finance sector “basically doesn’t have a system.” After making the remarks, Ma disappeared, before making his first public appearance in January.
Meanwhile, the Chinese regime launched an antitrust probe against Alibaba in December 2020 then fined the company $2.8 billion in April for anti-competitive tactics. In response to the fine, Alibaba issued a statement saying the company was “full of gratitude and respect” since it “would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service.”
Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Group has also been targeted. In April, Chinese regulators demanded the fintech group undergo a restructuring overhaul five months after the company’s $37 billion initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong was suspended.
Munger also criticized the U.S. free-market economy. “Our own wonderful free enterprise economy is letting all these crazy people go to this gross excess,” meanwhile, the Chinese regime “step[s] in preemptively to stop speculation.”
Additionally, Munger praised China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that as a totalitarian state, the Chinese regime could “simply shut down the country for six weeks.”
“That turned out to be exactly the right thing to do. And they didn’t allow any contact.”
BY FRANK FANG