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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Ma during an event in 2014. Source: United Nations Multimedia

China’s inequality facing twilight years, says Jack Ma

IF there’s one thing that Jack Ma definitely knows at heart, it is the power of the Internet and the benefits of globalization. This past Wednesday, the Alibaba founder and tech tycoon expressed his optimism about the opportunities presented by the Internet once more, stating that eventually, the combination of globalization and technology will ultimately reduce inequality, enabling small countries and SMEs to grow and thrive.

Jack Ma delivered his latest remarks at the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, which was held at Guangzhou, the capital of China’s Guangdong province. As stated in a China Daily report, the Alibaba founder expressed his belief that within the next few decades, globalization and the progress of technology will empower roughly 80 percent of countries and businesses as a whole.

“In the next 30 to 40 years, globalization will empower 80 percent of countries, businesses and people that have not benefited from globalization. That’s because of the power of the Internet and technology,” Ma said, according to China Daily.

In what almost seems like a throwback to Alibaba’s roots, Jack Ma also emphasized the importance of small businesses to the overall picture of the e-commerce landscape. According to the Alibaba founder, if SMEs and startups are imparted with the right amount of knowledge and skills on how to run a business, their contribution to the overall growth of their respective countries would be significant.

Ma said that the power of the Internet could . Source: AP

“If more efforts are made to impart knowledge and know-how to small businesses, that will significantly contribute to inclusive growth. Our goal is to be an enabler that helps small businesses reach more consumers and apply technology in a very cost-effective way,” the Alibaba founder said, according to a China Daily report.

In a lot of ways, Ma’s statements are coming from the very core of Alibaba’s success. Currently, the Chinese e-commerce giant stands as the seventh most valuable firm in the world, with an overall market cap of US$444 billion, as noted in a Bloomberg report.

Alibaba, of course, had its roots in the infancy stages of China’s e-commerce market, with Ma targeting small businesses as partners in his vision for a technology-driven e-marketplace.

Apart from emphasizing SMEs, globalization and the upcoming age of equality, Ma also urged foreign investors to be incredibly patient with the Chinese market. According to the Alibaba founder, it would be best if international firms investing in the Asian economic superpower would look into long-term goals in the country.

“Bringing capital and management staff is not enough. They should also bring technology and talents,” Ma said, according to a China Daily report.