Meet 'Jackie Ma' of Alibaba

August 29, 2019 12:26
Alibaba's Jack Ma has once again spoken about the growing role that women will play in businesses in future. Photo: Bloomberg

If there is something Alibaba's outgoing chairman Jack Ma wants different in his next life, it is about changing his gender.

Speaking at the Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship in Hangzhou on Wednesday, Ma said he hopes to be reborn as a female as he believes women will become more powerful in the future.

Among the many quotable one-liners during his speech at the event hosted by the Alibaba Group was this: “Cheating one’s dad is easy, but not mom because women have good intuition.”

Making a point that women tend to make better decisions, the Alibaba founder said his success came because he listens to his wife at home, and to his women leadership team in the office.

The e-commerce tycoon noted that he insists on Alibaba having women in at least one-third of the managerial positions within his group as he feels the fairer sex understand market needs better and ensure an improved user experience.

Having been through a male-dominated era, Ma said he is convinced that women pay greater attention to detail and customer feelings.

“Men know how to handle the matter, but women know how to handle it well,” he said.

Perhaps realizing he shouldn't upset his own sex too much, Ma hastened to add: "Men and women together can handle it wonderfully.”

He went into length on how important women are to entrepreneurship and to the future of business, using his own group as an example.

It is women who bring opportunity to Alibaba, and it is their trust that makes his firm outstanding, Ma said.

Well, there is good reason why the legendary Chinese businessman wants to sing praises of women and make them happy.

Among the many data points floating in relation to the Alibaba Group business, let's consider just a couple of findings.

One, more than half of menswear sales on the Taobao platform was said to have been accounted for by women. Two, over 60 percent of home necessities shopping and over 70 percent of shopping for children came from women.

During his speech, Ma said women tended to have better personal credit ratings than men, and were much better at managing their money.

Also, they were better users of new payment systems such as Alipay, it was suggested.

Among other interesting remarks, Ma noted that sales of concealers and mascara have seen a significant jump in recent times.

Men were spending more on make-up for their loved ones as they seem to have realized that “in future, marriage is determined by women, not men”, he said.

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EJ Insight writer