Jack Ma is China’s most illustrious e-commerce businessman. Ma founded China’s answer to Amazon and Google in 1999, and he named his company, Alibaba after the character Ali Baba in the Arabian tale One Thousand and One Nights. Alibaba provides business-to-consumer, business-to-business, and consumer-to-consumer sales and services via the Internet. The company also has an electronic payment arm, a data-centric cloud computing service, and a shopping search engine. The Alibaba.com website also connects Chinese manufacturers to foreign buyers. Ma’s company is now the largest retailer in the world. The company does business in more than 190 countries, and it surpassed Walmart, Amazon, and eBay in sales and profits in 2015.
Recently Ma expressed his concern for the future of the global economy. He said the world will experience a lot of pain over the next 30 years because of the Internet and the advancements in business technology. Ma believes social conflicts will have a negative impact on all businesses. He is also critical of the banking industry. He said banks should make lending available to more members of the global society. Jack also believes cloud computing and artificial intelligence are essential for future business transactions, and if business leaders don’t understand that fact, they should hire more Millennials that understand the importance of these new technologies.
There are 644 million active websites on the Internet, and new websites are added to the Internet every day. Many of those websites are business related sites and they are having a major impact on brick and mortar businesses and retailers. Other people who want to establish a presence on the Internet usually view this website, in order to build a website, or take advantage of their hosting, registration, domain names, and web marketing services.
Thanks to that website, Millennial entrepreneurs are impacting the business world in ways no one saw coming. And that is exactly the message Jack Ma is sending to the world. The expansion of the Internet and the advancements in artificial intelligence will create fewer jobs. Ma wants businesses to use artificial intelligence, but not at the expense of workers who can perform the same jobs.
New business technologies are doing what has always been done in capitalistic societies. They are replacing established businesses because that is the nature of capitalism. And as capitalism continues to reinvent itself, people experience a lot of pain. Old jobs disappear because workers don’t have the education or the training to function effectively in these new business models. Ma thinks the answer that could relieve some of the future pain is education. And he’s not alone in that observation. Old business methods can’t survive in a high-tech business environment without education and training is outdated.
What Ma is describing is already happening. Every business must have an online presence, and they must update and educate their employees to function in the online environment. But some businesses realize technology is moving too fast for them, and they can’t compete. That scenario will continue over the next 30 years, according to Ma. It’s not a pretty picture, but it is the nature of capitalism.