Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “fix” the social networking giant that is mired in data breach controversy.
Attending the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, which runs from April 8 to 11, Ma told delegates that Zuckerberg should “really take it seriously”.
“It is the time to fix it. It is the time for the CEO to really take it seriously. I think the problems will be solved,” Ma said.
Zuckerberg told Congress in written testimony on Monday that he was “responsible for” not preventing the social media platform from being used for harm, including fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech.
“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake,” Xinhua news agency quoted Zuckerburg as saying in a prepared testimony released by the US House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it and I’m responsible for what happens here,” he said in the remarks he is expected to deliver in a hearing on Wednesday.
His apology came after the social media giant found itself embroiled in a widening scandal that a British data firm called Cambridge Analytica had improperly gathered detailed Facebook information on 87 million users, up from a previous estimate of more than 50 million.
On US-China trade war, Ma said it was normal for the world’s two biggest economies to have problems with trade, but tackling them with a trade war is just like treating a flu with chemotherapies.
“You are not solving the problem of the cold, you are destroying the whole body, the whole system,” Ma made the comment while attending a dinner with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
Ma said that trade is about mutual respect and that nobody can stop globalisation.
“Trade is about rules and negotiations. If trade stops, war starts,” he said.
Speaking of the US-China trade deficit, Ma dismissed the issue as a problem, citing economic growth and a low jobless rate in the US as well as huge profit made by US firms in the bilateral trade.
“Today as a businessman, I don’t feel that trade deficit is a problem,” he said.
For her part, Lagarde also warned of the risk of temptation for inward policies, protectionism and closing off to the outside world.
She suggested reducing trade barriers in the service industry where there is “a big, big upside” in promoting openness.
The executive also cautioned challenges to the global economy, including corporate debt and demographic change, saying that “the sun is shining, but we have to look at the cloud arising”.
Globalisation has not been inclusive enough in the past decades, but there are ways to fix it, Ma said.
He also said the world is facing a lot of challenges from poverty, environment and technology, noting that innovation is the only way to solve these challenges and problems.