Chinese billionaire and famous Alibaba founder Jack Ma said he would rather not build a business like Alibaba if given the choice in his next life, claiming that his creation of the e-commerce giant has been his biggest mistake and worst nightmare.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals. It also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services.
Image: Alibaba Group splits into seven new units.
The group began in 1999 when Jack Ma founded the website Alibaba.com, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers.
In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) in sales. Suppliers from other countries are supported (with more stringent checks than for Chinese companies), but the company primarily operates in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
At closing time on the date of its initial public offering (IPO), 19 September 2014, Alibaba’s market value was US$231 billion. However, the stock has traded down and market cap was about $212 billion at the end of December 2015.
Jack Ma’s shocking revelation that building the Alibaba empire, is something he hates to love was a response to a question asked during a Q&A session on June 21 at the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Alibaba founder claimed that Alibaba’s success caused him a lot of trouble, leaving him very little time for himself and denying him of a once-treasured privacy. In his words: “My biggest mistake was I made Alibaba. I never thought that this thing would change my life.”
He continued: “I was just trying to do a small business and grow that big, take that much responsibility and got so much trouble.
“Everyday is like as busy as a president, and I don’t have any power! And then I don’t have my life,” Ma said.
“So I said in my next life, if I still can have a next life, I will never do a business like this. I will be my own self, I want to enjoy my life.”
What seem to be a regret for Jack Ma means a whole lot to the 35,000 employees in its payroll.
Alibaba Group, which is currently valued at $190 billion.