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Jack Ma bangs the drum for small business at Davos

By Liu Zheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-19 13:59

Jack Ma bangs the drum for small business at Davos

US president-elect Donald Trump and Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma speak with reporters after a meeting at Trump Tower in New York on Jan 9, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

The head of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd spoke about the future of online trade and globalization during an event called "An Insight, An Idea with Jack Ma" held on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

Ma first argued that job opportunities in the US were not stolen by other countries but rather due to strategy failure, which was not properly distributing money that was created by the national conglomerates.

According to Ma, the nation has spent a lot of money on foreign conflicts and invested heavily in Wall Street, rather than working to benefit its own general public.

In the past 30 years, he said, America has been involved in 13 wars and spent over $14.2 trillion. But what if the country had spent some of that money on building infrastructure and helping white-collar and blue-collar workers?

"You're supposed to spend money on your own people," he said. "We should spend money on those who are not good at school."

Ma also noted that the financial crisis in 2008 wiped out $19.2 trillion and destroyed 34 million jobs globally.

By responding to CNBC anchor and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin's question about the backlash on globalization, Ma said that globalization needs to be improved and should be inclusive.

"This is what President-elect Donald Trump wants to solve," he said. "Hundreds of years ago, globalization was controlled by several kingdoms and emperors. In the past 30 years, globalization was controlled by 60,000 big companies. What if we can help to support 20 million small businesses doing cross-border business in the next 30 years?"

Jack Ma bangs the drum for small business at Davos

Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

Ma also commented on President Xi Jinping's speech, which was delivered during the opening ceremony of the forum, saying that Xi's commitments take responsibility for the world's second largest economy.

eWTP, or Electronic World Trade Platform, a plan that was originally proposed by Ma in March 2016 at the Boao Forum for Asia, was also part of the conversation.

The platform is intended to provide free, open and fair trade as well as share the benefits of globalization with SMEs worldwide.

The proposal was submitted to G20 members for consideration.

By comparing trade rules of the WTO that were mainly designed by big companies and developed countries, Ma is keen on creating opportunities for small businesses, he said: "We want to build up a platform to support young people and small business through mobile phones and internet to sell cross borders."

Ma also said that China and the US would "never have a trade war" and advised giving Trump "some time".

Ma met with the US president-elect last week in New York and laid out the e-commerce giant's plan to include one million small and medium-sized US businesses on its websites to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years.

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