• Jack Ma Look-Alike

Jack Ma Look-Alike (Photo : Channel-15TV/YouTube)

Eight-year-old Fan Xiaoqin appears to have made record as having the shortest educational scholarship. On Monday, Alibaba Group Holding founder Jack Ma reportedly agreed to pay for his education until college because the poor boy from Jiangxi Province is a look alike of the billionaire.

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However, on Wednesday, Fortune reported that Jack Ma denied he made the offer to the Mini Ma, blaming the wrong news on state-run news agency Xinhua. The news agency quoted the Alibaba founder as saying, “To fund one child’s education is easy, but in order to help millions of poor children, more resources need to be used.”

When Jack Ma saw the boy’s photo, which became viral in 2014, he initially thought it was his picture when he was young.

Alibaba said the boy’s situation shows how widespread poverty is in China and the lack of education in rural China. Circulating false reports that Jack Ma would fund his education should not be a joke. Kids like “Little Jack Ma” live in a cruel reality of so many Chinese still mired in poverty and millions of children of migrant workers left behind in the rural areas needing education, CNN Money quoted Alibaba.

Fan and his older brother never had the chance to go to school because their mother has polio, the father had an accident which result in him losing a leg and their 83-year-old grandmother was diagnosed with dementia.

The billionaire actually put up a foundation in 2014 which donated in early 2016 almost $1.6 million in grants to teachers in rural China.

Jack Ma’s net worth is estimated at over $30 billion which he grew over the years after he founded Alibaba Online in 1999. Before he became wealthy, Jack Ma was an English teacher and translator. Early in his career, like other ordinary jobseeker, he was rejected a number of times, including by food giant KFC.