It seems there’s no limit to Jack Ma’s e-commerce empire vision and that includes the people who’ve made him the richest man in Asia. His next plan? Serving 2 billion consumers. At least that what he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week.
Ma’s Alibaba raised $25 billion in the world’s largest IPO ever last year for the company he said is still “a baby,” but it’s his baby, and he’s got big plans to take the site that already serves 100 million online consumers in China everyday to the next level. Ma wants to go global, attract customers from around the world, and help 10 million small businesses outside of China sell into global markets.
“We are an Internet company [that] happens to be in China. I remember the day when I start Alibaba we want to have a mission helping small business [do business] easier,” Ma said in an interview with Charlie Rose. “So how can we make a platform for global small business? My vision is if we can help Norway small businesses sell things to Argentina, and Argentina consumers can buy things online from Switzerland, we can build up what I call … the e-WTO.”
Ma’s vision for his e-commerce giant is to harness the power of the Internet and help small businesses have a global presence. And that’s not a new idea for Ma as he’s always emphasized that he wants to make money by helping other businesses make money.
“The WTO was great, past century, but WTO was helping big companies to sell things across the nations. Today, the Internet can help small businesses sell things cross the oceans, cross the nations. And I hope that we can serve 2 billion consumers, we can help 10 million small business outside China.”
Alibaba has already started this vision as its Tmall.com site has focused on helping merchants like an Alaskan fisherman sell salmon to China, or a Washington cherry farm sell directly to Chinese families who can now get deliveries in days instead of weeks. Ma said these examples show how Alibaba can help American and European small businesses sell to China’s consumers. While it seems Alibaba’s empire has already made its presence known — including talks of an “Alibaba Town” — Ma recognizes that there is much room to grow in the e-commerce space in terms of development.
“Compared to 15 years ago, we’re big,” Ma said in the interview. “But compared to 15 years later, we’re still a baby.”