Bill Clinton thinks Jack Ma could use his stature to draw attention and resources to some of China’s most pressing environmental and social concerns.
The former United States president was reacting to the US$21.8 billion initial public offering of Ma’s Alibaba Group which catapulted the former English teacher to the upper ranks of the world’s billionaires, according to Bloomberg.
The fundraising became the biggest on record after Alibaba underwriters exercised their right to sell more shares, boosting the IPO past US$25 billion.
“They [Alibaba] have 300 million people a week doing business on Alibaba,” Clinton told reporters by phone ahead of this week’s Clinton Global Initiative conference. “The chances of his being able to change China for the better are quite high.”
China has about 250,000 registered non-government organizations.
Ma, 50, has previously flown his management team to Clinton’s office in New York to better understand how global-scale philanthropy works.
He is scheduled to attend the Clinton Global Initiative.
Clinton said Ma could leverage Alibaba’s success to improve the infrastructure for Chinese philanthropy as information technology has transformed public reaction to disasters.