In his final letter to the shareholders, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma made a case for globalisation, despite the fact that recently more uncertainties have appeared in US-China trade relations, consumer trends, stock markets and the manufacturing industry.
Regarding these, Ma said: “The only question is how we should pivot. Monumental challenges give rise to monumental opportunities, and Alibaba is well-positioned because we are adept at weathering adversity.”
Ma added that Alibaba’s mission to make it easy to do business anywhere is precisely suited to the current environment, in which doing business is becoming harder: “We have spent the past three years to develop a trading system that serves small and medium enterprises and consumers around the world. I am excited that we are able to deploy Alibaba’s technology, experience and resources, thereby establishing and improving a new and inclusive global trade system for the future.”
Ma reaffirmed the company’s commitment to sustainable growth for at least 102 years, with the goal of serving two billion global consumers, empowering 10 million profitable businesses and creating 100 million jobs by 2036, even as he prepares to step down from the board in September 2019, when CEO Daniel Zhang will take over his role as executive chairman.