Why Jack Ma, Wang Jianlin went from foes to allies

Differences over retail tore them apart. Now, in a twist straight out of the movies, a deal for Wanda's film business is making them partners.

Why Jack Ma, Wang Jianlin went from foes to allies

Jack Ma and Wang Jianlin have traded many barbs over the years. The charismatic boss of Alibaba once boldly predicted that the rise of e-commerce would eventually destroy China's traditional retailers like those that rent mall space from Wang if the industry failed to change.

In a 2012, Ma made a televised, courageous bet with Wang, boss of China’s largest shopping mall builder Dalian Wanda Group, on the future of retailing in China. The...

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