Ma: Don’t just em­brace change, evoke it

Founder of Alibaba shares in­sights with fel­low Zhe­jiang en­trepreneurs in Shang­hai about the need to glob­al­ize busi­nesses and how the future will be de­fined by in­no­va­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Dur­ing the 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Zhe­jiang Cham­ber of Com­merce’s Shang­hai branch, Ma Yun, the founder of Chi­nese e-com­merce be­he­moth Alibaba, ap­pealed to busi­ness­men from his home prov­ince to adopt a global per­spec­tive in or­der to cre­ate value-added prod­ucts that can be suc­cess­ful in the dig­i­tal era.

The Nov 20 event, which took place in Shang­hai, drew around 2,000 Zhe­jiang en­trepreneurs, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and pro­fes­sion­als to join in the dis­cus­sions about the cur­rent sta­tus and future prospects of busi­nesses in the Chi­nese prov­ince.

“New Zhe­jiang en­trepreneurs should be aware of the im­por­tance of glob­al­iza­tion, the net­work that cov­ers the en­tire world, in­stead of just in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion, which is the con­nec­tion be­tween China and the world,” said Ma, the chair­man of the Gen­eral As­so­ci­a­tion of Zhe­jiang En­trepreneurs, dur­ing the clos­ing speech at the event.

Ma spoke about the need to “re­pair the roof on a sunny day”, re­fer­ring to how com­pa­nies should im­ple­ment strate­gic changes when they are achiev­ing success, in­stead of when they are fac­ing a cri­sis.

“We can­not sim­ply em­brace change or adapt to it. We need to be the ones to drive re­form in the revo­lu­tion. On the world stage, we need to do our best and show­case our abil­i­ties in­stead of fight over re­sources, us­ing not just IQ and EQ, but also LQ, the love quo­tient. We need to think more about our com­peti­tors in or­der to earn their re­spect,” he added.

Looking ahead to the future, Ma said that China’s In­ter­net Plus strat­egy will prove to be a game changer for all in­dus­tries as in­no­va­tion, in­stead of man­u­fac­tur­ing, grad­u­ally be­comes the coun­try’s main growth en­gine.

“We’ve moved from hu­man-made to ma­chin­ery over the past two decades and now we are go­ing to trans­form ma­chines to be hu­man­like in the next 20 years,” said Ma.

“The scale of en­ter­prises will be tremen­dously re­duced as busi­ness will be forced to ap­ply advanced tech­nol­ogy, cus­tom­ized prod­ucts and in­no­va­tive thoughts for future de­vel­op­ment.”

There were just 33 mem­bers and 84 regis­tered Zhe­jiang en­ter­prises in Shang­hai when the branch was first launched in 1986. To­day, the Shang­hai branch has more than 15,000 mem­bers in the cham­ber and 600,000 regis­tered Zhe­jiang en­ter­prises, in­clud­ing more than 500 listed com­pa­nies and in­dus­trial lead­ers that have a com­bined annual profit ex­ceed­ing 100 bil­lion yuan ($14.5 bil­lion).

There are cur­rently six mil­lion Zhe­jiang mer­chants op­er­at­ing busi­nesses all over China, and one-tenth of them are based in Shang­hai.

“Zhe­jiang busi­nesses need to make more in­vest­ments in re­search and in­no­va­tion in or­der to en­hance the qual­ity of our prod­ucts and ser­vices, and to re­main suc­cess­ful in the mar­ket,” said Guo Guangchang, the chair­man of Fo­sun In­ter­na­tional Ltd and the chair­man of the Shang­hai branch of the Zhe­jiang Cham­ber of Com­merce, about the need to keep up with the times.

“We should also prove our abil­i­ties as Zhe­jiang busi­nesses and boost the lo­cal econ­omy, cre­ate more job op­por­tu­ni­ties and cre­ate value with our merger and ac­qui­si­tions or in­vest­ments in other coun­tries,” added Guo.

Fo­sun is re­garded as one of the lead­ing Chi­nese en­ti­ties when it comes to glob­al­iza­tion, hav­ing been in­volved in a num­ber of high­pro­file ac­qui­si­tions over the years. It owns re­sort op­er­a­tor Club Med, the sky­scraper 28 Lib­erty Street in New York and en­ter­tain­ment gi­ant Cirque du Soleil.

Suc­cess­ful busi­ness­men and ex­perts also talked about the prospects of see­ing Zhe­jiang en­trepreneurs step onto the world stage dur­ing the 2016 Shang­hai Fo­rum, which was part of the cel­e­bra­tions.

Zhou Chengjian, the chair­man

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Ma Yun, the founder of Chi­nese e-com­merce be­he­moth Alibaba, is ar­guably the best-known Zhe­jiang busi­ness­man in China.

Fa­mous busi­ness peo­ple at the 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Zhe­jiang Cham­ber of Com­merce’s Shang­hai branch.

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