Amazon Is Like An ‘Empire’ – Ma Explains How It’s Different From Alibaba


Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma says there is a problem with people calling the Chinese e-commerce site the “Amazon of China.” According to CNBC, Ma said the difference between Amazon and the Chinese firm is that the U.S. firm is more like an “empire,” where “everything they control themselves, buy as well as sell.”

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How Alibaba and Amazon are different?

On the other hand, Ma said their philosophy is that they want to be an ecosystem. He added that they want to empower others to provide service and sell and make sure that others are more powerful than them.

“With our technology, our innovation, our partners — 10 million small business sellers — they can compete with Microsoft and IBM. Our philosophy is, using internet technology we can make every company become Amazon,” Ma told New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum.

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“To hire people to deliver for us, we need 5 million people, to deliver the things we sold,” Ma said.

He then explained that they can hire 5 million people only by empowering service companies and logistics companies, notes CNBC.

On being asked who has the “right” strategy, he or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Ma said both are right.

“The world can never have one model,” Ma said. “If the world has only one correct model, the world is too boring. The people who use the model should believe in the model. I believe in what I do.”

No chance of U.S.-China trade war

Ma has also made headlines since his meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. In his meeting, he discussed Alibaba’s ambitions to support 1 million jobs by making it simpler for businesses to join the Chinese e-commerce platform.

On China and U.S. relations, Ma said the two countries are not about to be drawn into a trade war.

“China and (the) U.S. will never have a trade war. Give  Trump some time. He’s open minded,” Ma told a panel at the meeting of political and business leader in the Swiss Alps

Ma said there is freedom of speech in America, so of course they can say whatever they want. He added that during the meeting with Trump, they did not debate U.S.-China trade or currency manipulation.

“Actually we agreed on something — small business.”

On Wednesday, Alibaba shares closed down 0.12% at $96.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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