Date
21 September 2017
Jack Ma has decided to give his money away with a plan to establish a foundation. Why not, if it's causing him such pain? Photo: Reuters
Jack Ma has decided to give his money away with a plan to establish a foundation. Why not, if it's causing him such pain? Photo: Reuters

Why US$30 bln is making Jack Ma an unhappy man

Money makes the world go round, as the saying goes.

Not for Jack Ma, China’s richest man, whose estimated US$30 billion fortune is making him an unhappy man.

Ma, 50, said it’s good to be rich but not if you’re the richest man in China, am730 reported Thursday.

“It’s a great pain because when you’re the richest person in the world, everybody is surrounding you for money,” he said.

Ma surged to the top of the list of China’s richest people after his Alibaba Group, the country’s biggest e-commerce company, completed a blockbulster market listing in New York in September.

That made him the richest man in Asia on the Bloomberg daily billionaire list, second only to Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing in Thursday’s rankings.

Alibaba’s IPO success may have contributed to his stress, Ma told CNBC in an interview.

“Maybe the stock goes so up, maybe people have high expectations on you, maybe I think too much about the future and have too many things to worry about,” Ma said.

“Honestly I think when people think too highly of you, you have the responsibility to calm down and be yourself.”

Ma has decided to give his money away with a plan to establish a philanthropic foundation.

But now it seems the numbers are stacked up against him, which means offloading all that wealth isn’t easy.

Alibaba is still growing — Ma is planning to conquer India next — and the latest sales from his e-commerce business are compounding his forturnes.

During Singles Day on Nov. 11, sales on the online platform surged to US$2.15 billion in the first 13 hours on their way to a record US$9 billion haul for the day.

Looks like we will be seeing Jack Ma with a long face for a while.

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