The face of China

Alibaba's Jack Ma: After scandal at home this hero of capitalism fights to win back trust for himself and his country
Forbes Magazine - April 2011

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1. Content
i. Symbols of significance
Human: Ma Yun, a famous Chinese business leader.

ii. Area(s) in society that the symbols belong to
It belongs to the area of economic and business because Ma Yun is a famous business figure in China.

iii. Quantitative assessment
1 person

2. Communication
i. Image/symbol(s) used to symbolize China
In this picture Ma Yun who is smiling kindly is used to symbolize China, and what is noticeable is that the picture of him is modified to make him better-looking compared with his real look.

ii. Key connotations and denotations
Ma Yun who represents China has a protuberant cheekbone and a naughty child appearance in reality but in this image the picture of him is modified so his appearance seems to be good-looking and he is smiling kindly with his simple and unadorned dress, which makes readers feel that he is just an ordinary and amiable person. That the cover uses him to represent China may mean that China is also a friendly country.

iii. Interpretations of the key symbols, with focus on Chinese culture
Ma Yun, as the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Alibaba Group and chairman of, the Hong Kong-listed unit of Alibaba Group, is one of the most famous business leaders in China. Though he makes great achievement, his ugly and strange appearance makes it a little difficult for ordinary people to like and feel close to him. So using Ma Yun, a strange-looking enterpriser to symbolize China may make Chinese feel a little annoyed.

iv. Power relations in the image

v. Kind of communication
Unilateral , because only Ma Yun who represents China is showed in this image.

vi . Nature of relation between “China” and "others"
Collaborative, because in this image Ma Yun leaves readers a amicable impression by smiling happily in simple and unadorned dress which makes people feel relaxed.

3. Additional comments
i. Images/colors, etc

ii. Group of images
There are lots of Chinese in these covers, but most of them are political leaders, so it is comparatively rare to use an entrepreneur to symbolize China. This image is specific not only because it shows Ma Yun, a successful and famous Chinese entrepreneur, but also because the image is modified to makes him look more beautiful.

iii. Comment about supporting image

iv. Comments about heading
The title of this image is “the face of China”. Without the title, it may be difficult for readers to regard Ma Yun as a person who can represent China and associate his appearance with the whole country. So the title strengthens the meaning of this image.

4. Rating of cover image
Open to dialogue

5. Other comments

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Rating categories:
1. Hostile: An image that portrays China as impossible to have a dialogue with.
2. Not open to dialogue: An image that portrays China in a way where it is possible, but not likely, to have a dialogue.
3. Neutral: An image that does not say anything about the possibility for dialogue
4. Open to dialogue: An image that portrays China in a way where there is an openness to dialogue.
5. Very open to dialogue: An image that portrays China in a way where there is an active interest in a dialogue.