Jack Ma, the co-founder and chairman of China’s top e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group, is famous for his idiosyncratic attitude towards money, at least according to his interviews with the press in the past couple of years. As the richest man in China, Ma does not seem to assume a flamboyant lifestyle like other billionaires do. A recent video of Ma in an interview with a Bloomberg reporter is currently trending on Weibo and netizens are going wild.
“I never think I’m the richest man,” said Ma in the video. “I didn’t even get a thing because I don’t spend money. I don’t have time to spend money.”
As the founder of a company whose e-commerce platforms are heavily relied on by luxury brands—Alibaba unveiled its Luxury Pavilion, an exclusive section of its Tmall platform for luxury and premium brands, which is only accessible to its wealthiest shoppers—the billionaire chairman, who, in the video, is bare-wristed in a simple roll-up light-blue shirt and khaki pants, is surprisingly free of any signs of luxury.
His spending habits and attitudes towards money may be representative of the ultra-rich grass-roots Chinese entrepreneurs like himself. It seems like there may be an opportunity here for luxury brands to figure out a way to help these wealthy but busy Chinese men, like Ma, spend the money they have so painstakingly earned.
Weibo Comment: “Time isn’t an issue. I have all the time in the world, let me help him spend his money.”