SHANGHAI — Ahead of next week’s G20 meeting in Hangzhou, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, the city’s favorite son, has released a video statement welcoming world leaders and talking up the benefits of globalization.
The summit, slated for Sept. 4 and 5, will be the first time the G20 is hosted by a Chinese city. Hangzhou, the home of Ma, the e-commerce giant he founded and almost nine million people, is today renowned within China as an incubator for entrepreneurship. It was also the country’s capital during the Song Dynasty, a thousand years ago.
“This G20 meeting has high expectations from the world, particularly at this moment in the world economy. A lot of people don’t like globalization, and I personally believe globalization is a great thing for the world. The only thing is, how can we improve globalization so we can get more small businesses and more young people getting involved?” Ma asked in the video distributed on Alibaba’s digital platforms.
His suggestion is the development of an Electronic World Trade Platform to encourage “billions” of people — from all parts of the world — to get involved in trade.
“We believe this platform should be sponsored and enforced by businesses and supported by governments. If we can build up a platform that enables small businesses, and young people to do free and fair trade globally this will be fundamental for the world economy this century,” said the executive, who has come under fire for the proliferation of fake products on Alibaba’s Taobao platform and whose company is facing an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.