Many issues are touched on by Jack Ma - In Mandarin

Jack Ma speech during One Belt, One Road conference.


Many issues, except real estate. Or education, which is interesting since (according to Wikipedia) he studied at Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and was lecturer at a university. Perhaps he is jaded after being rejected by Harvard (10 times) and not finding employment after earning a grad school degree in business. He says, “I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy …”. He talked about inclusiveness and the need for more corporate citizenship to strengthen the social safety net. It’s an important issue which more leaders in the modern economy should consider, IMO.

Incidentally, I was just finishing a book which mentions Jack Ma where he brings up Taoism as being a big influence in the way he (and many Chinese) views life and work. It concludes that Chinese see invention as more of a discovery, creatio in situ. Maybe stereotypical to say so, but “Western approach is the way of the boxer. Jack’s way is that of a surfer.”

Why is it called One Belt

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He did. He mentioned 家興 (not sure is correct words) becomes irrelevant after the establishment of an airline flight from Beijing to Suzhou (cities may not be correct, too lazy to go through the whole speech, the idea is there). He mentioned that the cities that are prosperous now may not be in the future. So the question we need to think is will SFBA remains prosperous as technology advances? Any possibility that we be Detroited? What are the yellow flags that we should watch out for?

Great talk. Jack Ma is one of the clearest thinker on global economic and technological issues. Many of what he talked about we already discussed at length here. I think his attitude is pretty much in tune with the Valley’s techno-optimism: we shouldn’t let the past hinder us, that the future will always be better even if it seems scary now.

The 20 years of development + 30 years of deployment is very real, and it’s something Valley people talk about also. We are now in the deployment phase, it’s where tech meets the real world and transform old industries. So now we have hotel industry shaken up. We have taxi industry shaken up. We have eye glasses, mattresses, advertising shaken up etc etc. That explains why tech is moving from the suburb to the city. Because it’s where the old world industry execs and talents are.

Jack also mentioned the possibility of war. That’s something I have been talking about too. Inequality from this wave of globalization and technological revolution is bad and getting worse. In history we adjusted by going to war. We built a new order from the ashes. Recent trends with Trump and Brexit are ominous.

By the way I think it’s 嘉興 between Hangzhou and Shanghai. Before interstate highway Jiaxing is a popular pit stop, halfway between Hangzhou and Shanghai. After highway nobody visited there anymore. I don’t think the Valley will lose its place to another American region. We should worry about America losing its place to an upstart like China. Again, the recent Trump phenomenon is worrisome.

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Both he and Jeff Bezos have their eyes focused on the big picture, and both aiming for job creation but different strategies. Interesting that Ma flew across the world the meet with Trump while Bezos has bought a residence in DC. Would be nice if they can complement each other’s empires in each country.

“We had a great meeting, and (he’s) a great, great entrepreneur, one of the best in the world,” Trump told reporters. “Jack and I are going to do some great things.”


Great points. In Jack Ma’s speech, he mentioned that governments should not be involved in “taking money” from the people’s pockets, is businesses’ job. He added that businesses’ job is also to help local do well and not just exploit things like low cost labor. Government should focus on building infrastructure. I believe this sync with Trump’s thinking and we all know Jack Ma is a behind-the-scene man for CCP. We don’t know what kind of unsaid deal between China (through Jack) and Trump. Obviously, need more negotiation since USA still not happy with China building airstrip on the Spratly Islands.


I can’t find English transcript of what Jack Ma said. Basically he’s saying the race between command economy like communism and market economy may be a computing problem. In the old days the Soviets didn’t have the computing power to properly optimize economic output. It’s better to rely on market mechanics. But now we have so much computing power, big data and superior algorithms, we may see the command economy win out in the next 30 years. At least a hybrid of command and market economics.

This is very unique point of view, and very thought provoking. I have never seen anyone post this as a computing problem. And Jack has a point.

Nonsense from Jack Ma. Communism failed due to human nature, no data and computing can help. He’s helping to justify China’s slow moving piltical reform.

Market competition is the only way to keep people and businesses honest and work hard and adjust quickly to changes.

Better economic forecast can help business and individuals make better decisions. That’s not called command economy as far as I know.

It’s dangerous to pay too much attention to celebrities. Just like us, sometimes they say something stupid which they do not fully understand or simply misspoke, it would be dangerous if people take it literally.

Jack Ma is just a regular guy whose business succeeded in the Internet business. He may not fully understand market economy and command economy.

Jack Ma opines that over the next 30 years, the mix of planned economy (not command economy) and market economy would move in favor of planned economy because of big data providing more transparency (just like X-ray) allowing governments to better manage the local and global economy together.

Government is only interested in redistribution. Maybe he means that government policy and regulations will be based more on data than ideology? That’s not planned economy.

Is Singapore economy a mixture of planned economy and market economy? What’s the definition of planned economy? Only communist countries had planned economy before, I’m not aware of any other forms of planned economy.

If government forecasts that each person needs 3 pairs of shoes, we can order the factory produce 900 million pairs for USA. Then who’ll set the price? Can we limit Trump only buy 3 pairs in case we run out?

I guess each family is a planned economy. You cook the right amount of food for your family, you do not assign food based on family member’s ability to pay. Rich dad does not get more food than poor kid. If our county becomes a big family, we can have a planned economy and everyone will be taken care of with a low stress life. May god recreate the world into a huge family!

Planned economy usually is controlled by a dictator and absolute policing power from the government. Liberals are killed by the dictator at the first opportunity even though the dictator was the leader of the liberals.

Less extensive forms of planned economies include those that use indicative planning as components of a market-based or mixed economy, in which the state employs "influence, subsidies, grants, and taxes, but does not compel."[2] This latter is sometimes referred to as a “planned market economy”.[3] In some instances, the term planned economy has been used to refer to national economic development plans and state-directed investment in market economies.

Didn’t know that you’re an academic. Why bother about definition? Basically, better planning and less resource wastage.

Which country and which government? Academias are pretty useless as we all know

I can give 100 theories in 1 month.

Capitalism thru markets has been a good way to allocate resources. But it can be very wasteful. As an algorithm it also scales very well. But I have never seen any optimization algorithms on computers where we mimic a society full of profit-optimizing agents. I am sure somebody must have tried and found it wanting. Instead all our algorithms, except for random ones, are of the “central planning” sort.

So I found Jack Ma’s remarks very interesting. Right or wrong it merits some careful thinking. I suspect it has more truths in it than market-fundamentalists aka libertarians care to admit.

God is the best central planner. I do not trust any human central planner. Hitler’s Germary, Mao’s China, Stalin’s Soveit Union, Kim’s North Korea and Castro’s Cuba are all good centrally planned economy. Jack Ma should donate more computers to North Korea and Cuba, the only 2 planned economies left.

OPEC is a successful central planner, but US government is against anti-trust. ATT and Verizon could get together and become a very successful planned economy for telecom. A planned economy is a government controlled monopoly, you will get rising cost and decreasing quality and a huge shortage. But we have too much now, we can use a planned economy to make everyone slim again.