On 25th September 2017, in the Gateway 2017 held in Toronto, Jack Ma gave an impressive speech, introducing the rapidly-developing Chinese market and demonstrating how the internet was bringing potential for small and medium-sized enterprises around the world. He affirmed that China would be the largest consuming market in the world, and this big engine would drive the world economy and generate great opportunity for enterprises. And Jack Ma added that the middle class in China would continue to expand and exceed 500 million within the next 5 years, more than the overall population of North America. Last year, China jumped to the top of the online retail market, and by next year the online consumption of China would surpass the total of other countries.
Through Alibaba’s platforms such as Tmall Global, small and medium-sized enterprises and people in Canada can have an easier access to Chinese customers. Confronted with new opportunities, the only thing that enterprises have to do was to try. Jack Ma said, “If you want to tap a huge market, China is exactly the one you want. Some people say that doing business on the internet is difficult, but I would say it’s difficult to do business anytime, anywhere. And if you cannot do business with the Chinese, it will be hard for you to do business with other countries. Entering into China means at least the first step into Southeast Asia, because cultures in those countries have a lot in common.”
Jack Ma also cited the story of Marco Polo, and encouraged all the small and medium-sized enterprises to join the global trade. He said: “A thousand years ago, Marco Polo spent 8 years travelling from Europe to China, and another 8 years back. But today, with internet, you can travel to China hundreds of millions of times within 8 seconds, using the internet.”
The world is changing, so is the way to do business. Jack Ma believes that in the next 10 or 20 years the best trade will take place on the internet, and small and medium-sized enterprises will have the same opportunity as big companies had in the past 20 years.” Distance will no longer be a hinderance. In ten more years, global consumers will be able to order online and receive items within 72 hours. Eighty percent of small enterprises will be globalised or - if not - destined to fall behind.
Moreover, Jack Ma made sincere suggestion to small and medium-sized enterprises, namely that they should always keep their idealism, and embrace the dream of globalisation. “The difference between big enterprises and small and medium ones is not revenue, but having a dream. Small enterprises have dreams, while giants think about KPI (Key Performance Indicators). Small firms should believe in the future, stay focused and be passionate about their dream,” Jack Ma said.
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