Jack Ma is defying communist gravity by proving that China can generate world-beating brands. Photo: AFP

Who needs Donald Trump’s America?

You won’t find these words in Ant Group’s initial public offering prospectus, but they’re written between the lines in bold font as the fintech juggernaut Jack Ma built bypasses New York to list in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In 2014, the New York Stock Exchange debut of Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd was a big coup for Beijing. Here was a homegrown tech success story pulling off history’s then-biggest IPO.

China Inc had arrived at the center of global finance – and then some.