Alibaba Group and Ant Financials are companies founded by Jack Ma. In this interview at WEF 2015 in Davos, he talks about his values, career, personal development and perseverance in a very personal way.
This is not an actual episode of The 2pt5 podcast. I included this video into the series of “Innovators out there” as there is lots to learn from this conversation with innovator Jack Ma. Also I have meet him briefly, about 20 years ago, I think in Berlin. And I still remember this vibrant, energetic man very vididly. The interview took place at WEF 2015 in Davos. He has appeared several times at WEF, check out the other videos too.
Mentioned in this episode
The transcript was automatically produced and contains inaccuracies.
WEF: welcome, Jack. Ma. Thank you. Thank you. We we’ve all become very cognizant of Jack and his story. And when Alibaba went public with the largest Pio in history, we knew a lot more about him. So I want to talk about his personal story. I want to talk about how many times he tried and failed and what kept him going. I want to talk about where he is today and how he got here and where he is going and how he expects to get there. And if he gets there, what will it all mean for him and for the people, Uh, that he wants to inspire. So begin with this question, though. Jack, why are you back at Davos? That Z long break for seven years? I think my last trip here was year 2000 and eight. But I was coming for year 2001 for the young global leader for tomorrow. And I think remember, I never heard about the Davos when I came, but when I came on, the Switzerland, so many young people demonstrate, was such a horrible scene that I was and and ask them What
Jack Ma: did they do? It they say anti globalization. And I said, Why globalize? This is a great thing. Why people and you know don’t like it. And then we come all the way for two hours here, there’s a machine gun. There’s people checking. I said, Oh, God, Is that Is that a follow more is a prison. We’re gonna
WEF: go into that. But when I joined the fallen a T young global leader, I was thrilled by so many ideas For the 1st 234 years, I learned what what does What does globalization mean? What is the culprit? Citizenship mean? What about social responsibility? Mean, uh, all these new ideas and
Jack Ma: see so many great leaders
WEF: talking about leadership and I benefit a lot in the year 2008 and nine when the financial crisis came. I think you better go back to work because we can never win the world by talking. So we go back, spent seven years now I come back. I think it’s time to do something returned because I learned so much 12 years ago. So why I should not talking to the young global leader of today, shelling with them, how we gone through So that was the thing. Let’s start with where you are today. Just how big is Alibaba? How many people come every day? How many people come in a week? How fast is it growing?
Jack Ma: Yeah, we have over 100
WEF: million buyers visiting our site shop in our site. Um, every day and we created a million. We created, um, 14 million
Jack Ma: jobs for China directly and indirectly. And we grow from 18 people to 30,000 people eating people in my apartment to now we have a four big campus compared to 15 years ago. We were big, but compared to 15 years later, we’re still
WEF: a baby e big. Will you be 15 years from them?
Jack Ma: I think 15 years ago I told my team that 15 years in the past 15 years we grow from nothing to this size. And 15 years later, I wanted people see no about Ali Baba. No tap out because it’s already everywhere I want 15 years ago when we talk about what is e commerce? Why small business can using thes e commerce. Those Internet can do business across the nation. And I hope 15 years later people forget about e commerce because they think it’s like electricity. Nobody think it’s a high tech today. Now this is something that I don’t want. 15 years later, we still walking on the street, talking about why and how e commerce
WEF: can help people talk about the AIPO. We did it
Jack Ma: exceed your expectations? Well, it’s a pretty small I po 250. Yeah,
WEF: the largest video in the history of Wall Street. We raised way raised. Number two was a Chinese bank. Thank
Jack Ma: you. I, uh remember year 2001 We went Thio, raise some five minutes, three minutes Venture capitalist dollars in the U. S. A. And got rejected. And I say we come back raising some a little bit more. But I I think you know what we think more about is for 2 $25 billion how we can spend the money efficiently because this is not the money. This is the trust from the world. The trust from those people. They want to do better jobs to help more people. They won’t have a good return. So I think giving me more pressure because when our our market cap is bigger than IBM or sudden day were bigger than warm up. We’re one of the top 10 15 largest er market cap company in the world. I told my team and myself, Is that true? We’re not that good because years ago people say Alibaba model is terrible, does not make money, have this and that all the big bad things Because Amazon is better, eBay’s better, Google is better and there is no such model like Alibaba in the USA. So I told myself and people we were better than people thought. But today, when we got that big size, I said, No, we’re not that good as people thought. We’re just a company 15 years old. Average age is 27 28 years old. Young people were doing something that human being have never tried. So I
WEF: want I want to talk about the future. Let me take you back to when you were born in Hangzhou, where the headquarters still are on your campuses. They don’t
Jack Ma: have a lute. Don’t move your loot. Your you founded their loot there. You
WEF: grew up in the sixties 64 that was born in 64. That was the time of the cultural revolution. Yeah, it was the end of
Jack Ma: the Cultural Revolution. It was, uh Well, my grandfather was a tiny landlord was considered after liberation was considered a bad guy. So e was I know how tough it waas When I was a kid,
WEF: you tried to get into three colleges each time they rejected you. No, I
Jack Ma: tried. There’s examination that young people, if you want to go University of the Taste, take the examinations. So I failed three times by a lot of failed. I failed for funny things that I feel the key primary school test for two times. And I felt, uh, um, like, three times for the middle school middle schools and you will never believe in enhancing my city. There’s Onley, one middle school that last only one year. It was changed from primary school middle school because our graduates off our our our school no universe, you know, middle school acceptance because they were too bad. Yeah, they will become a middle school. What
WEF: effect did it have, though? Being rejected?
Jack Ma: Well, I think we have to get used to it. We’re not that good. Even today. We still have a lot of people reject us, I think when I, uh, in the graduate from universities before I you know, for three years, I tried to fill in the universities, so apply jobs or 30 times got rejected. I went for a police. They said, No, you’re not good. I went even the KFC when KFC came to China, Come to my say 2024 people went for the job. 23 people accepted. I was the only one guy, and we went for police. Five people full of them accepted. I was the only guy that I receive it. So to me, being turned down, rejected. By the way I told you that I would I apply for Harvard for 10 times rejected. I know if you reject. Sorry.
WEF: Sorry. Now, what? 10 times you wrote them and said I’d like to come to Harvard. Yeah. And
Jack Ma: then I told myself somebody should go teach their baby. Thank you. I
WEF: think that could be arranged. Um, Richard Nixon came to Hangzhou. Yeah. And after that tourist flooded the place. Yeah. And that’s how you learned English.
Jack Ma: Yeah. I really like the I don’t know why you were 12 13 years old. That time I suddenly felt love into the language. The English and there’s no place you can. You can learn English at that time. There’s no books, English books. So I went to the Handle Hotel, now called Hangzhou Shangri La Hotel, because that was the hotel can receive the foreign visitors. So every morning for nine years, I showed them around as a free guide and they told me English, and I think that changed to me today on the 100% made in China. I’ve never got a one day train outside China, and people when people talk to say, Jack, how can you speak English like that? Why, sometimes you talk like in a Western guys. I think that was the nine years these Western for tourists opened my mind because everything they told me are so different from the things I learned from the schools and from my parents. So now I have a habit, whatever. I see whatever read I used my mind think about for
WEF: two. Does that have marred June became Jack Ma.
Jack Ma: Actually, Jack, the name was given by a lady in tennis. She’s a tourist that she came here and she said came to Hangzhou. We had We become a pan friends. Marin is so difficult to pronounce. So she said, Do you? You have English name? I said, Don’t. So can you give me English name? She said, uh, OK. She said my father called the Jack. My husband called Jack. What do you think about Jack? Good. So I’ll be using that for that menus.
WEF: Uh huh. Uh, first visit to America in 1995
Jack Ma: 1995. Yeah. I come here for a project helping the local government to building up highway
WEF: on You tried the Internet.
Jack Ma: I tried to Internet in Seattle and in the building called the U. S. Bank. I don’t know whether U. S banks still there or not, but that’s a building. And this My friend opened a small office, which is so, like only 10% bigger than this room. And there’s a lot of much computers in there. And he said, a jack, this is Internet. Was I asked what is the Internet? He said, and search whatever you want at that time. They use Mosaic very slow, and I said, I don’t use it. I don’t want to type because computer is so expensive in China. If I destroy it, I cannot pay, he said. Just to search it. So I searched the first. A word of beer. I don’t know why. Because easy to spell a baby on. I see beers from Germany, beers from USA beers from, uh, Japan. But there’s no beer from China, and I say, Okay, type of the second words. China. No data, Nothing. Nothing. And I see 95 1990. No data about China. So I talked to my friend. Why not make some something about China? So we made a small, very ugly looking page called China. It’s about It’s something like I did a translation ages and were listed on there. It was so shocking. We launched at 9. 40 in the morning, 12. 30. I got a phone call for my friend. He said, Check. You know you’ve got a five emails. So what is email on the’s other things? People So excited. Where are you? This is the first time I see a Chinese website on that. How can we kind of can we do something together? So I think this is something interesting, so we should do it.
WEF: Why did you call it Alibaba?
Jack Ma: Alibaba? Well, when I started, I think Internet is global. We should have a global name and a name that interesting like at that time. The best name is Yahoo, right? I think I can. So I’ve been thinking for many days. Suddenly Alibaba is a good name. So I I was happened to being San San Francisco that day. I didn’t have a launch. And the waitress come, I ask you, Do you know that Alibaba? She said yes. I said, What is Alibaba? She said open sesame. Good. So I went on the street, asked about 10 20 people. They all know about Alibaba, 40 thieves and open sesame. And I think this is a good name and started with a Whatever you talk about Alibaba is always talked. You
WEF: have said before that in creating Alibaba, you had to create trust. Yep, because people in China we’re used to face to face How did you create trust?
Jack Ma: I think because we started about doing business on the Internet. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. So how can you do things online unless you have trust? So for e commerce. The most important thing was trust, I think when we first went to USA for raising money, talk to the venture capitalists. A lot of people say, Oh, Jack, no, no, no, no, no, no China doing business. But when she how can do business or Internet And I know that without the trust, the system, the credit system, it’s impossible to do business. So we with every in the past for 14 years. Everything we do is trying to build up the trust, the system, the record system. Well, Charlie, you know I’m so proud of today. When I talk to Young today, in China and in the world, people don’t trust each other. The government and people and media and everybody got This guy is cheating. But because of e commerce, we finished 60 million transactions every day. People don’t know each other. I don’t know you. I send products to you. You don’t know me. You want the money to me and I don’t know you. I give a person a package. I don’t know him. He took something to so cross the ocean. Cross River. Understand? This is the trust we have six a tely sta 60 million trust happening every day,
WEF: but you created by creating an escrow account in the beginning, you know? And so you keep the money until they got the product? Yeah. And then you release the money.
Jack Ma: That’s true. I mean, the escort services about Ali pay When I when I When I You know this idea? I would love doubles because it was a big decision. Because for 32 3 years, Alibaba is just like the marketplaces for for information. What? You have what I have. We talk a lot of time, but don’t do any business because there is no payment. I talked to the banks. No banks want to do it. Bank said no. This thing never work, so I don’t know what to do. Because if I start to launch a payment system, it’s against the financial legal loss. Because you have to have a license. But if I don’t do it, e commerce will go nowhere. So then I went to Davos. I listened to a leadership discussion. Leadership is about responsibility. And after I listen to that panel, give a call to my friends, my colleagues in the apartment C do it now. Immediately. If something wrong, the governor happy about that. If one body has to go to the prison, Jack, my go to the priest Because it is so important for China for the world to build of the trust, the system. And if you did not do it, I said and do not do it properly. Stealing money, money wash no trust record. I send you to the prison s O. That was they think of. And people people don’t like it. So many people I talked to at that time for Ali pay. They say this is the stupidest idea you have ever got. But I say I don’t wear the stupid club as long as people use it. Now we have 800 million people using this. Ali pay stupid things.
WEF: If you do ever is better. Ali pay is a privately held thing is not part of Alibaba. It’s about to talk about money for a second. You have never gotten money from the Chinese government. No, no, no. I
Jack Ma: wanted the beginning later. I don’t want it because I think if the company always think about the picking money from off of the government off pockets that cos it’s rubbish. Think about how can you make money from the customers and market and then help customers succeed? That’s our philosophy.
WEF: No money from Chinese banks.
Jack Ma: No, no a t that time I want. And now they want to give me. I don’t want
WEF: it. All right, um, your relationship with the government, Yeah. What’s your relationship? I mean, if they didn’t, Here’s what some say that you have existed in an environment that’s not they have restricted competition for you, and that’s a pretty good thing to do for a private company. Yeah,
Jack Ma: I think the relationship with the government for us is very interesting for the first five years, because I’ve been working as a part time job for a government organizational ministry off Foreign Trade 1997 for 14 months. And I learned that you should never realize government organization to do e commerce. And I started business. I told them, My people and team in love with the government don’t marry them. Kids respect them, and a lot of people say, Well, you know, government officers talking to about Internet, the censorship and this that and the worry about I think it’s the opportunity. It’s a responsibility talking to them. Tell them how Internet can help.
WEF: So you tell them we create jobs. Oh,
Jack Ma: yeah. I mean, I think a lot of people debate and fight against them. And in the 1st 12 years, anybody come to my office, I sit down talking to them how we can help economy, how we can create jobs. Why China will improve by the Internet, I think because Internet that time is new toe any government. And if you convince somebody and you have the chance. So today I’m very talkative that probably This is why I talked to so many people.
WEF: So I mean, the government comes to you and ask you to do something for them.
Jack Ma: Normally, when government comes Sajak, can you do this project? I said no, I can e. I said no. Can I can introduce Some friends were interested in doing that for you. But if you if they continue to want me to do it, I say Okay, I do it. But I don’t want I don’t charge. I hope next time don’t come to me again. But recently we have some government organized. You do it. For example, the every Spring festival, the train station, the train tickets so difficult. Hundreds and thousands of farmers in work in the cities. In the Spring Festival, they go to the hometown. But when the order tickets on the on the other way, the whole system crashed for five years. So I told my young people, Go support them. Don’t charge anything because I don’t want to see millions off farmers go back to city and they cannot back the tickets. So it’s it’s something that it’s not for money. It’s something that it’s not for The government is for the millions of millions of people. They can buy tickets in the snowy night, and then you have the weight. They just by use mobile phone online. They get tickets.
WEF: One way Stop along the route to where you are in that big AIPO was Yahoo. Jerry Yang gave you a invested billion dollars. A billion dollars. It turned out to be a pretty good investment for you. Yeah, but one time after another, you raised this money on your own outside of China with investors.
Jack Ma: Yeah, I’m very thankful for all the investors because 1999 year 2000. And even at the Yahoo time, a lot of people say this Jack is crazy. He’s doing something that we don’t understand. A lot of venture capital is give you money because there is such a American model already there. But they say Ali Baba, we don’t see this kind of model. Right? And then Jax crazy. Yeah, this is crazy guy. I mean, I remember my first time in Time magazine. They call me Crazy Jack on. I think Chris is good. We are crazy, but we’re not stupid. That’s we know what we are doing. But if everybody agree with me, if everybody believes my our idea is good, we have no chance. So that’s the money we raised. We’re very thankful. So when our investors makes a lot of money, I feel proud and honor.
WEF: As you know, in the United States, issues have risen about privacy. Yeah, Google and Apple in questions of whether the government should have access to files. How do you handle that? If the Chinese government says you know a lot about people, you have transactional relationships with lots of people and they say we want toe. See your files
Jack Ma: Well, so far I don’t have this kind of problems of our Chinese government. And I told them, Any government, if you can hear for the national security, anti terrorist well, anywhere anti terrorist, we work together, is a criminal. We work. But rest off that No, I said, we are business. The data is so precious because we don’t know help. Because if we give to anybody, it’s gonna be a disaster. And also about privacy issues, I think just like hundreds of years ago, people say I would rather put money under my pillow rather than putting the banks. But today, banks there special, they know how to prevent money much better than you do privacy issues, all these kind of securities today we may not have the solutions. We don’t have the answer, but I believe our young people have the solutions Next 10 20 years, there will be a breakthrough on that, and I’m fully confidence on that.
WEF: Your life is a testament to the idea that nothing is impossible, that if somebody says no, you say it’s just the beginning. Where does that come from?
Jack Ma: Well, I, uh, the beginning. I never thought that I thought when I was young, I said, Everything’s possible now I know not everything is possible. We have something you have to think about. You have to consider about the others. You have to consider about the customer society, your employees, the shareholders so society. There’s so many things that I think if you continue to work hard, there’s there is possibility. And I just feel that I’m enthusiastic about what we’re doing at the beginning for the first five years. I just want to survive. And five years later, I think that’s 2000 from 19 point. Yeah, but later I think, Wow, so many people’s life changed. I was so excited, you know, for the first of three years, we made a zero revenue zero revenue. But we were so excited to speak, continued to work. You know what happened? I remember many times when I go to restaurant have dinner. Somebody came when I was trying to pay the bill. The owner of the restaurant came to say, Sir, your bill is paid by someone, and the small notes it. Hey, Mr Maher, I’m your customer of Alibaba Group. Alibaba Platform. I made a lot of money. And I know you don’t make any money. I pay the bill for you. Yeah, and I remember one thing one day that I was sitting somewhere in the coffee. Somebody sending me a cigar. I don’t smoke cigar, but there’s a note, Thank you very much. I’m your customer. And I remember the top of days I would the Shangri La Hotel in Beijing. When I get on the taxi, The man who opened the door for me like the boy at the gate He said, Jack, thank you very much. I’m your service here. My girlfriend makes more money than I do on your side. And this is something that you know that it’s not mentioned. If you don’t do it, nothing is possible. If you try to do it, at least you have the hope.
WEF: The revenue comes from advertising in a smaller amount from transactional fees, most of it from advertising tiny from advertising
Jack Ma: tiny from advertising tiny from transactions. Because we need a big mess when we now we have more than 10 million small business power sellers selling our side everywhere. So the big trans transactions we have a second after Walmart, so time going after Wal Mart. Tiny off the transact off the money already biggest, biggest big so and all we second after warmer. I remember one of the senior management of warmer guys came to Hangzhou five years ago. He said, Jack, you know, you have a great job. So I said, Maybe in 10 years will be bigger than Wal Mart. You say, young man, you have a good hope s. You have to make a map that I think in 10 years will be bigger than Wal Mart on the sales. Because if you want have 10,000 new customers, you have to build a new warehouse And this debt for me. Two servers.
WEF: What’s your market cap versus Wall Street? Walmart today?
Jack Ma: I don’t know. But yeah, some. It’s close. I think so. Maybe we should check it later. All right, s So where are you going? What does Jack want? I think because the name for Alibaba we are Internet company happened to be in China. We have the same spread and an entrepreneur spread like every great entrepreneurs in the world. And I remember the day when I start Alibaba, we want to have amazing helping small business doing easier. So next steps today so many millions of small business using our platform to sell things, and over 300 million consumers buy things from our site. Cheapest, efficient. So what? I’m thinking about how we can make Alibaba a platform for global small business. My vision is that how if we can help Norway, small business can sell things to Argentina and Argentina. Consumers can buy things alive from from Switzerland, and we can build up which I code. I don’t know, maybe the right not right world called E W T O. The W two is a great past, the century, but w to have so many big companies to sell things across the nation today. Internet can help small business sell things across the oceans crossing nations, and I hope that we can serve two billion consumers. 2,000,000,002 billion consumers. We can help. 10 million Small business outside China helped outside China outside China because I’m so Good way helped the American farmers in Washington state almost 300 tons off Cherries to China last year. Cherries when they when we before we saw the ambassador of us, came to Mr Jack, can you help us selling Cherries, Cherries and the flutes? Is why not? I said, why not? Let’s try so that when we order when we start to sell Cherries, the chair is still on the trees. So we started preorder 80,000 families, all the Cherries online. So we pick up the Cherries and shipping to China. Within 48 hours. We sell the Cherries, the consumers is so happy. And But we got a lot of letters complain. After three days, they say, Why on Lee? 100 tons. Why? We should not get more. So we sell, you know, last two months ago. We help the Costco. We sell 300 tons off nuts to China. So I’m thinking about if we can sell. You know, we’re also selling Alaska seafood to China. So if we can sell seafood, we could if we can sell the Cherries, why we cannot help American and European small business selling things to China consumers. China needs that. So this is what I want do? Is that 10 2 billion consumers China, Asia, developing nations, how we can let them buy things for globally.
WEF: Alibaba Road with the millions of people that went from poverty to the middle class in China. I mean, you were right there growing as they grew and increased. When you look at the international markets, you’re doing well in Russia. Yeah. How? Well, we do pretty good on
Jack Ma: Russia. And we to breathe do also pretty good. Brazil. Russia, I think. Now we I don’t know where the if not the number one where the number two or number three largest er e commerce, e commerce. I remember last year we had a campaign. The campaign is that a lot of the Russian girls and boys wanna buy things from China. You know how maney days, a Russian girl place an order and receive the products from China two years ago. Four mouse, even that people so happy about all the things and last of the campaign. Within one week, we crashed the whole largest system of Russia.
WEF: All right. You were also seen in Hollywood. Yeah. What are you doing in Holly?
Jack Ma: Well, I like the the Hollywood innovation. The digital. Okay. I learned so much about the Hollywood movies, especially the Forest Gump you love for his God. I love for its God. Why do you like him? Simple. Never give up people. People thinking he’s done. But he knows what he’s doing. And I was very depressed the day Ah, year 2002 or three in the States when I No, no, no, no. Earlier than that. It was very depressed when I cannot define it away for the Internet. And I watched the movie and my friends home Forest Gump. When I see him, I think this is the guy we should learn from. Believe what you’re doing. Love it. Whether people like it don’t like it. Be simple And like the word life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you can get, right? I never know I would be here talking to you, talking to Charlie Rose. I never know. But today I made it. I told my people in my apartment 18 15 years ago. Guys, we have to work hard. Not for ourselves. If we can be successful, 80% of the young people in China can be successful. We don’t have a rich father. Powerful uncle. We don’t have $1 from bank once an from government. Just work as a team.
WEF: So what do you worry about?
Jack Ma: I worry about it today. Young people out of young people lose hope, lose vision instead of complaining because we also have the same periods when I gotta. It’s not a good feeling being rejected by so many people. We also depressed, but at least later we find that the world has a lot of opportunity. How you see the world, how you catch the opportunity. So and the Hollywood give me a lot off inspiration. But you
WEF: were out there for business. You were out there because you wanna make movies. And seldom
Jack Ma: I want to make the movie. For business wise, we are e commerce company. We We have a lot off products that need logistic, but movie TV, these air things you don’t need logistic system and movie probably is the best product that can help Chinese young people to understand. Because one thing I told the Chinese people are my friends in American movie all the heroes at the beginning they look like a bad guy. Terrible things coming. They become hero and finally they all survived China. If you buy movie hero, all the heroes died it so because only data people become the hero so nobody won’t be the hero. So
WEF: you wanna change the Chinese definition of hero?
Jack Ma: Yeah. I want to say hero. Today we have so many heroes live in this world.
WEF: You still writing these Kong fu novels? Just reading them.
Jack Ma: I read them and I start to write something. I think to find the kung fu There’s something you you start to think about something that you cannot do. But if you have some luck if you continue to practice if you’ve got a good master if a good team your expert so at least to make me when I’m busy. When I’m tired of frustrate, I really comfort books and
WEF: you also travel with a tie Chai. Am I saying that right? Trainer trainer Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Yeah, What does that do for you? Keep you in good,
Jack Ma: good touch you touches of philosophy about in any young Tai Chee is about how you balance how you work like a competition. People say when I compete with the basic you hate even No, no, no. I don’t have the eBay. He’s a great company, you know, They come I go Tai Chi’s like you fighting here I go over there, you put it on the top. I go to down right So it’s a balance culture, right? You’re heavy on the small. You know, when I was small, I can jump your have. You cannot jump. Taiji is better philosophy I using taxi philosophy in the in the business. Calm down, there’s always way out and keep yourself balanced. Meanwhile, don’t try because business is a competition is a fund. Business is not like a battlefield. You you die or I win business. Even if you die, I mean either win, right? So it’s about it’s better fun. So Tai gi, Give me a lot off inspirations. But you
WEF: want your life and you want this company Alibaba to change the world and you are changing the world. It’s in fact, you provide a forum for buying and enable people to earn a living. But also you believe that Alibaba ought to change the lives of women. So what are you doing
Jack Ma: first? I think many years ago I want to change the world now. I think if you want to change the world, we change ourselves, change ourselves more important and easier than change the world. And second is that I want to improve the world because it changed the world. Maybe Obama’s job. Yes, my job is to making sure that my team are happy because my team are happy. They can make my custom happy if my customers they’re all small business when they’re happy. We’re happy about women. One of the secret source for Alibaba success is that we have a lot of women.
WEF: What percentage of women and well,
Jack Ma: one day before, I think two months before two or three months before we I peel, there’s America. There’s American journalist cum double company. She asked me a question check. I’ve seen so many women. Your company. I see what’s wrong. Mhm, we have ah. Later we find that you know we have thirties or we have 47% of the employees off our company are women many 40 47% off our company of women and we actually had a 51 because we acquire some company these days, they have a more man so balanced that
WEF: But these were women in top level positions.
Jack Ma: 33% of the senior of the management of women and 24% of the senior management. Very top level, uh, women. We have a women CEO, CFO CPL. Chief People officer, and we have everywhere, and I think so, comfortable working with them because women in this world, if you want to win in 21st century, you have to making sure that making other people powerful, empower others, making sure the other people better than you are. Then you will be successful. So I found the women. They think about the others more than they think about themselves. Women think about the kids, husband, parents much more than the man. And they use a friend of this,
WEF: a couple of things I want to talk about before we go because we have less than a couple of minutes. China today. Are you worried the economy slowed down?
Jack Ma: Oh, I don’t worry about. I think China is doing. It’s slowing down is much better than keep on 9%. China today is the second largest economy in the world. It’s impossible to keep 9% of the growth. If China still keeps the 9% of the growth of the economy, there must be something wrong. You will never see the blue sky and you will never see the quality. China should pay attention to the quality off the economy. China should not. So if we have a lot of influence, you know, like the heart of movies things and we have ah, response and of these things in the car in the GDP will be much better. So I think just like a human growth, you can never. This body cannot grow, grow, grow growth Certain time The slow of growth of the body was slow, but should grow your mind. Grow your culture grew your valley grow your visit. Um, I think China is moving to that direction.
WEF: And you saw Modi in India. Did you see Modi in India?
Jack Ma: Not yet. I’m looking forward to
WEF: that. You go to India. Finally. There’s this, um, you’re one of the world’s richest people. Um, your company is one of the world’s richest companies. What do you want beyond Alibaba?
Jack Ma: Well, about riches to people. I was told I was really not happy in the past three months when people say Jack Ma is the richest people off China global celebrity. They said, No, I’m not, I’m not. When I start the business, you are. I never thought that’s how Maney Yeah, maybe I am not. But I think What I 15 years ago, my apartment. My my wife was at that time one of the 18 founders. I asked her, Do you want your husband to be a rich person? I never said Rich person in China, rich person in Hangzhou. All you want to be your husband to be respected person, she said. Off course. Respected because she never believe. And I don’t believe we’ll be rich. People wages the water survive, but I believe we have $1 million. That’s your money. We have a $20 million. You start have problems. You worry about inflation, where which is stuck to buy. And this that’s ahead. Come when you have $1 billion. That’s not your money. That’s the trust society give on you. They believe you can manage the money, use the money better than the government than the others. So I think today I have the resources do more things with the money we have with the influence we have. We should spend more time on the young people and I would say someday I’ll go back to teach, go back to school, spend time with the young people and telling shelling with them what I did. So the money is not mine. I just happy Lee and having this resources. And I want do better job.
WEF: Just tell them your story.
Jack Ma: Yeah, tell them the story and tell them that if Jack, I don’t think in this world a lot of people be rejected more than 30 times. If we you know the only thing we never give up. The only thing like a Forest Gump. We keep on fight. We keep on change ourselves. We don’t complain whether you are successful, not successful. I find that one people when they finish the job, if they make the mistake of the film, if they always complain the others this girl will never come back. If the guy on Lee check himself. Yeah, Something wrong with me Here. Something want me There, There. This guy hasn’t hope,
WEF: Jack, on behalf of everybody in this audience on a television audience around the world. Thank you for taking your time to be with us.
Jack Ma: Thank you very much