Jack Ma Alibaba (1)The Financial Times (FT) has named Jack Ma, Chairman of the Alibaba Group, Person of the Year for stepping back from Alibaba to tackle one of China’s biggest problems, the looming environmental disaster.  Jack Ma declared in an interview, because of problems with water, air and food safety, it will be one area where he will invest his money and time.  A second focus would be people’s culture and education.

Alibaba is a remarkable company.  It is only 10 years old and its enterprise value may soon reach US$100bn.  There is no other enterprise in China of the type of Alibaba and as large as Alibaba.  The FT ventured to say that outside the ruling Communist Party it is hard to find anyone today in China who has had a bigger impact on the lives of ordinary people than Jack Ma.

Alibaba’s sales exceed now those of eBay and Amazon combined and make up 2% of China’s GDP.  70% of all Chinese package deliveries come from Alibaba’s sales.  Roughly 80% of Chinese e-commerce transactions are conducted through Alibaba’s websites.  The FT surmises that this may be just the beginning, considering more than half of China is still offline.  China is bound to overtake the US quite soon as the world’s largest e-commerce market.  To get goods delivered timely and efficiently Alibaba is investing in logistic systems.  In order to fuel consumer demand Alibaba has entered the financial services sector offering financial support for micro, small businesses and individuals.  This has already rattled the monolithic state-dominated financial system.  All these activities tend to indicate that Jack Ma’s ambitions go beyond e-commerce and retail.

BIIA congratulates Jack Ma and salutes the FT for making this choice.

Source:  Financial Times (FT)