Davos 2017: An Insight, An Idea with Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma (Transcript)

So the past 30 years, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, they made a tons of them and the money, the profit they made are much more than the four largest banks in China put together — China Mobile, China Unicom and whatever you name it, put together, still these multinational companies made more money. So their market cap grew more than 100 times in the past 30 years. But where did the money go? This is what I’m curious, because, as a business people I always care about the balance sheet: where is the money coming, where does the money go?

Past 30 years, America had 13 wars, spending $14.2 trillion, the money going there. What if they spent a part of their money on building of the infrastructure, helping the white collars and blue collars? No matter how strategy good it is, you’re supposed to spend money on your own people, right? Not everybody can pass Harvard — like me, not good at education, right? We should spend money on those people who are not good at schooling.

And the other money which I am curious about is that when I was young, I heard America is about Ford, Boeing, those big manufacturing companies. The last 10, 20 years what I heard about is Silicon Valley and Wall Street. The money go to the Wall Street. And what happened year 2008? The financial crisis wiped out $19.2 trillion USA alone. They wiped out all of the white collars and destroyed 34 million jobs globally. So what if the money — it’s not on Wall Street. What if the money spent on the middle east, mid-west of the United States? Developing the industry there, that could be changed a lot. So it’s not the other countries steal jobs from you guys. It is your strategy.

Interviewer: OK, but —

Jack Ma: But you do not distribute the money and things in a proper way.

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Interviewer: This is what I — and now we are having a backlash. And that backlash is a rebuke of globalization in so much of the conversation frankly that we have here. And that backlash is happening in the United States but I will say President Xi was here yesterday, you had lunch with him. And he was quoting Abraham Lincoln. What did you make of that?

Jack Ma: Well, I would say that the globalization is a great stuff. It’s the USA, it’s developed countries that teach us how to do globalization. I remember 2002 when China joined the WTO, everybody in China was so worried. Me? I was worried because what if all the international products come to China, destroy our industry and we lose our job. So convinced China, after 20 years, then you guys are telling, say, this is a terrible thing. I believe globalization is good but globalization need to be improved. This is Donald Trump, president elect want to solve the problems, that globalization I think should be inclusive globalization.

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