Global Industry Supporter:

Alibaba head Ma calls for truly universal globalisation

03 DEC 2017

LIVE FROM WORLD INTERNET CONFERENCE, WUZHEN, CHINA: The world’s economic problems have not been caused by globalisation but by incomplete globalisation argued Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba (pictured).

The head of China’s largest e-commerce company said the world faces a number of issues as the global industrial sector undergoes profound changes: “In the future the manufacturing sector will not be the main employer, because machines using AI and machine learning will replace most production jobs, so humans can engage in more creative work. The services sector will be the main employer,” he said.

“We have never encountered such opportunities before and created so much wealth. But at the same time, we must take responsibility. Only by joining hands can we build a community for a common future by sharing technologies. So globalisation must be universal.”

Ma said 30 years ago trade was controlled by 60,000 big corporations. In the future it will be controlled by SMEs, so more than 80 per cent of people should benefit from this.

He noted many people are concerned their jobs will be replaced by new technology: “Actually, new technology is not being developed to make you jobless, but to allow you to do more meaningful things and eliminate repetitive tasks.”

More than 100 years ago, he said, China resisted the arrival of railways because they were concerned it would take away jobs. The country’s railway sector now employs more than 2 million people. He said it is the same case with the container ship industry and while jobs in print media have shrunk, more people are employed in express delivery services.

Ma was one of nearly a dozen speakers at the opening ceremony of China’s top public cyber policy forum, organised by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which oversees internet regulation including censorship. Mobile World Live is on the ground in Wuzhen with more reports to follow.

Author

Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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