Ma backs fe­male en­trepreneurs

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHI­NADAILY in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang

The rapid devel­op­ment of new tech­nol­ogy and the wide­spread use of the In­ter­net will help more Chi­nese women to be­come en­trepreneurs, a con­fer­ence packed with fa­mous names was told onWed­nes­day.

How­ever, they will face more dif­fi­cul­ties than their male peers, such as the chal­lenge of main­tain­ing a good work-life bal­ance and prej­u­dice in the busi­ness world.

“In the fu­ture, China’s econ­omy will be mainly driven by the ser­vice in­dus­try. Women, who by na­ture are more con­sid­er­ate than their male coun­ter­parts, will def­i­nitely play a larger part,” said JackMa, the bil­lion­aire ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-com­merce com­pany by busi­ness vol­ume.

Ma was speak­ing at a two­day global con­fer­ence on women and en­trepreneur­ship in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, at­tended by more than 800 women.

They in­cluded Ari­anna Huff­in­g­ton, edi­tor-in-chief of Huff­in­g­ton Post, and actress Jes­sica Alba.

A grow­ing num­ber of women are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the In­ter­net to start busi­nesses.

A re­port pub­lished by the China Devel­op­ment Re­search Foun­da­tion in March said 25 per­cent of Chi­nese en­trepreneurs are fe­male, a mas­sive in­crease com­pared with 10 years ago.

Sixty per­cent of them are in East China, the pow­er­house of the e-com­merce in­dus­try.

Cloth­ing is the most popular sec­tor for Chi­nese fe­male en­trepreneurs, thanks in large part to the e-com­merce boom, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by PayPal.

“We excel in imag­i­na­tion. We are think­ing in pic­tures rather than in words,” said Peng Lei, one of Ma’s ear­li­est part­ners and now one of the 50 most in­flu­en­tial fe­male en­trepreneurs in­Asia, ac­cord­ing to Forbes.

“When I am talk­ing about some­thing, what first comes in my mind is its color and shape,” said Peng. “This can help us de­velop bet­ter In­ter­net prod­ucts.”

Ma Si con­trib­uted to this story.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.