A conversation with Alibaba founder Jack Ma on the future of online trade and globalization
Ma says blaming China for any economic issues in the U.S. is misguided. If America is looking to blame anyone, Ma said, it should blame itself.
To be sure, Ma is not the only critic of the costly U.S. policies of waging war against terrorism and other enemies outside the homeland. Still, Ma said this was the reason America’s economic growth had weakened, not China’s supposed theft of jobs.
In fact, Ma called outsourcing a “wonderful” and “perfect” strategy.
“The American multinational companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization,” Ma said. “The past 30 years, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, they’ve made tens of millions — the profits they’ve made are much more than the four Chinese banks put together. … But where did the money go?”
He said the U.S. is not distributing, or investing, its money properly, and that’s why many people in the country feel wracked with economic anxiety. He said too much money flows to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Instead, the country should be helping the Midwest, and Americans “not good in schooling,” too.
“You’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said. “Not everybody can pass Harvard, like me.” In a previous interview, Ma said he had been rejected by Harvard 10 times.
Along those lines, Ma stressed that globalization is a good thing, but it, too, “should be inclusive,” with the spoils not just going to the wealthy few.
“The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together,” Ma said. “As a business person, I want the world to share the prosperity together.”
– Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group, People’s Republic of China; Young Global Leader Alumnus
– Andrew R. Sorkin, Editor-at-Large; Columnist, New York Times, USA; Young Global Leader Alumnus