British soccer star David Beckham visited Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou Thursday morning, according to pictures doing the rounds on social media.
Postings on Weibo, WeChat as well as some other social media platforms showed Beckham being given a tour by Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma and other senior company officials.
The pictures were apparently taken by a member of the entourage.
Later, Ma posted a photo on Laiwang, a mobile messaging app that was developed by Alibaba as competition to WeChat.
In the accompanying text, Ma wrote: “…Why do women want him [Beckham] to be their boyfriend whereas I can only be their ‘father’? …Oh, it is because he knows what to wear! I should take my outfit selection more seriously next time.”
The light-hearted message apparently acknowledged the visit of the English football icon, but Ma didn’t disclose any details.
According to Sina sports portal, Beckham was there to help promote Alibaba’s upcoming “Double 11″ online shopping festival and to grace the Chinese firm’s annual staff meeting.
Meanwhile, ThePaper.cn cited a source as saying that Beckham was invited by a liquor brand for its Double 11 promotion.
Double 11 refers to the mega online shopping festival on Nov. 11, which the Chinese mark as “Singles’ Day”.
Alibaba has said earlier that it will make a global push for the first time in this year’s Double 11 festival by connecting overseas firms with Chinese consumers.
“Will Beckham join the Evergrande Football Club or will his wife Victoria Beckham will bring her fashion styles to Tmall?” a netizen wondered.
Alibaba in June bought 50 percent stake in Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club for 1.2 billion yuan (US$192 million).
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