After its record IPO, e-commerce giant Alibaba is facing its “most dangerous moment,” founder Jack Ma said yesterday, even as the firm was working out plans to help small businesses in China and across the world.“Even two months before the IPO, people didn’t think we would make money,” Jack Ma said at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen City. “Now the problem is people think we are too good — we can do anything. This is the most dangerous moment,” 50-year-old Ma, also China’s richest man, said. Also Read - Jack Ma's Alibaba fined record $2.7B by China
Today’s warning reminds of previous remarks from the tycoon about the challenges facing the company, from employees turning complacent and stopping innovation to failing to embrace opportunities in the mobile age. He is leading Alibaba into new businesses of digital entertainment and healthcare as it adjusts to post-Initial Public Offer (IPO) euphoria as the 10th-largest company by market value, surpassing Coca-Cola Company and Facebook Inc. Also Read - Ant Group ordered by China to reexamine its fintech businesses and return to its roots as a payments service
Referring to the innovations in the pipeline, he said: “Traditionally, all we think about is how to sell products to others and how to get money out of the pockets of consumers.” “The internationalisation of Alibaba’s business requires us to ponder the issue of how to help others sell their products to us,” he said adding, “China’s rapidly rising middle class is posting a huge demand for foreign products.” About 1,000 Internet professionals from more than 100 countries and regions took part in the meeting that was kicked off yesterday. Also Read - India bans 43 more Chinese apps over security concerns
In February, Alibaba launched “Tmall International” dealing mainly in commodities produced or sold in overseas markets and it raised $25 billion in September, the world’s biggest initial public offering. Ma believes that in the global village, old trade modes will be transformed and within the WTO framework the rules of game are set by the governments.
The market is frequently at the mercy of international relations, he was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying. The Internet has made it possible for a business world built by the entrepreneurs themselves to evolve on the basis of the market economy and unencumbered by political squabbling, he said.