Jack Ma: "We did not beat eBay in the USA … yet."

CATEGORY: News

The Guardian considers the long line of western failures to crack the Chinese market. Jack Ma, whose Alibaba.com bought Yahoo’s Chinese operation last year, blames corporate culture for the failure: “Professional managers are making their bosses in the US happy, not the Chinese users.”

Demanding instant success in China is pointless: “A lot of people assume that because of money, technology and branding, it will be a success. But the market can’t be bought. You have to build little by little to get into the market – it’s about people, and you need patience.”

123 million Chinese people are online, the largest number in any country outside America, but just 10% of the population: it’s obvious why western firms would want to cash in on such an enormous potential market. Ma’s words ought to be a timely reminder that global trade can run in both directions.

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