Jack Ma, the Alibaba founder said on December 21 that 2019 has been particularly hard for the entrepreneurs in China but the hardships have only just begun. Ma, who previously said that 'phase one' of US-China trade deal marked the start of 'real change' attended a conference in Shanghai where he said 'hardship of this year is probably just the start'. Reportedly, the recently stepped down CEO of the Chinese e-commerce giant wants the businessmen in the country to remain confident and adapt to the sweeping changes.
The 55-year-old reportedly said that because it is the end of the year he received phone calls from many of his friends who wanted to borrow money from him. In a single day, Ma received five such phone calls and in the past week, ten people among his circle were trying to sell their properties and acknowledged that it is 'difficult for them'. Ma further elaborated that those people who are actually running businesses know that every year is 'tough' but 'the year 2019 has been tough'. In the past years, it was only some entrepreneurs who used to find hardships in their work, but in this year 'probably most entrepreneurs have found it difficult'.
Ma is currently the richest man in China and also the face of private companies in the country also said that the world is currently 'entering a period of change' and 'Chinese economy is facing huge adjustment'. The 55-year-old believes the businessmen must 'change themselves' in order to adapt and broaden the spectrum of opportunities. However, Ma did not go into the specifics in his speech. China is reportedly expected to report a headline economic growth rate above six per cent for 2019 and a long list of entrepreneurs are struggling to keep afloat.
Jack Ma had taken a final bow from Alibaba with a Rockstar performance and played the guitar in a performance said to be witnessed by thousands of company employees in China. Jack Ma handed over reigns of the e-commerce company to current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Daniel Zhang. Jack Ma literally looked like the Rockstar, that he was at Alibaba. It is reported that he even shed a few tears when his own staff paid tributes to him through performances.