Jack Ma gave a surprising answer when recently asked what his biggest mistake was, claiming that it was in fact his founding of the e-commerce giant Alibaba.
During a Q&A session on June 21 at the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Jack Ma said that the success of Alibaba had caused no end of trouble and left him with very little time for himself.
My biggest mistake was I made Alibaba. I never thought that this thing would change my life. I was just trying to do a small business and grow that big, take that much responsibility and got so much trouble. Everyday is like as busy as a president, and I don’t have any power! And then I don’t have my life.
So I said in my next life, if I still can have a next life, I will never do a business like this. I will be my own self, I want to enjoy my life.
While some netizens accused him of trying to play it cool, others sympathized with him, remaking on the huge responsibilities he has to shoulder. “He can make Alibaba go bankrupt anytime,” one wrote, “but how many people will face unemployment as a result.”
If founding Alibaba was a mistake, then it certainly was a profitable one, with Alibaba currently valued at $190 billion. It’s also allowed him to get acquainted with some pretty powerful people, like Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg.
Watch the full exchange here:
By Amy Yang