Liu Yi, the reporter responsible for the interview with Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma, resigned from the South China Morning Post in controversy this week. Liu went on to the SCMP system after his article was published and removed a controversial comment by the former Alibaba CEO without the permission of his editors.
The issue began with an interview that was published over a week ago on SCMP’s Chinese website where Ma was quoted comparing difficult management decisions to the decision made by the Communist Party on the Tiananmen Square incident.
The Wall Street Journal translated Ma’s quotes from the original Chinese article:
“As the country’s highest decision maker he demanded stability, he needed to make this kind of cruel decision. This wasn’t a perfect decision, but it was the most correct decision, at the time it was the most correct decision,” Ma said of the Deng Xiaoping’s decision on June 4. “No matter when it is, a leader needs to make this kind of decision. Anyone could fool around and choose to not decide, but that’s not management.”
Ma has since denied the quote, saying that the paper had misquoted him.
According to the WSJ, Ma said in a statement that, “Regrettably my remarks as reported [by the SCMP] did not reflect what I told the reporter, and caused a terrible misunderstanding.”
The SCMP still stands by the originally published article, according to a statement released on July 20.
China Digital Times reports that many of the terms related to the controversy have been banned on Sina Weibo since July 20.
•South China (Morning Post)+Jack Ma (南华（早报）＋马云)
•South China+editors’ statement (南华＋编辑部声明)
•South China+Liu Yi (南华＋刘怡)
•Jack Ma+Six Four (马云＋六四): June 4, 1989 is often referred to as “Six Four.”
•Jack Ma+64 (马云＋64)
•Jack Ma+ Eight Nine (马云＋八九): “Eight Nine” stands for 1989.
•Jack Ma+89 (马云＋89)
For the transcripts of the full interview in Chinese, click here.
[Image via Hexun Tech]