Alibaba’s Ma Points To Strong Company Growth Despite Slowing China

In the end, though the stock price may be volatile and the Chinese economy is feeling the pinch of gravity, Alibaba is doing fine, according to Jack Ma, the company’s chairman.

Fortune reported Thursday (Sept. 24) that the eCommerce giant’s leader says his company is still enjoying a strong growth rate and is even on track to best retail juggernaut Walmart in sales volume in 2015.

In comments made during an interview at Stanford University’s business school on Thursday, conducted by Jerry Yang, the Yahoo cofounder and former Alibaba board member, Ma said that “consumption is still going up on Alibaba. This is because when [the] economy goes down people look online to Alibaba to buy cheaper things.” Fortune said that the comments come as part of an effort to soothe investors’ nerves about the company’s (and its stock price’s) direction in the uneven year that has marked its debut as a public entity. The stock has slid 40 percent since an initial euphoric public offering. Some stock market participants have even levied charges that the company has been “faking their numbers,” a practice that has been denied by the company.

In reference to the slowing Chinese economy, Ma said that “it’s impossible for China to keep 10 to 15 percent growth annually. The economy needed to slow down, and we have to learn to slow down. China is still the fastest growing economy in the world, but we need to learn how to use money in [a] better way, and it’s about quality, not quantity.” Ma pointed to the strength of his company within the Chinese retail industry, as its online sales account for as much as 12 percent of the nation’s total retail activity. That translates to more than 365 million buyers, which would shake out to more than the combined populations of the United States and Canada.

[bctt tweet=”In reference to the slowing Chinese economy, Ma said that “it’s impossible for China to keep 10 to 15 percent growth annually.””]

Regarding his attendance at Seattle meetings this past week between China president Xi Jinping and prominent U.S. tech leaders, Ma stated that “these American entrepreneurs and business leaders are worried about us. I think U.S. and Chinese businesses need a common language and dialogue.” He proposed bi-yearly meetings between the two nations’ business leaders to foster collaboration.

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