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    Jun 11, 2015

    Founder of Alibaba was 'happier' as a teacher


    JACK Ma, founder and chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba, may be one of the richest men in China.

    But the 50-year-old was apparently happier earning just US$12 a month as an English teacher in the 1980s.

    "If I had another life, I would keep my company private," said Mr Ma, noting that since his company became publicly listed, life has not been as simple as it used to be, the South China Morning Post reported.

    Alibaba's initial public offering of US$25 billion (S$37 billion) broke records in September.

    Mr Ma was a teacher in Hangzhou in the late 1980s and, compared with his responsibilities now, those earlier years were a "fantastic" period, he added.

    Mr Ma was speaking to the Economics Club of New York on Tuesday. He is visiting the United States this week to explain Alibaba's global strategy and help dispel misconceptions about the company, reported Reuters.

    The magnate is worth US$25.3 billion, according to Forbes, and is seeking ways to give back to society.

    Last year, he set up a philanthropic trust fund which looks into areas such as education and healthcare.

    "The money I have today is a responsibility. It's the trust of people on me," he said.

    Mr Ma also stressed that Alibaba does not want to fight for US market share but hopes to help small US businesses sell more goods in China instead.

    "We're not coming here to compete," he said.


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