back to article IBM, Microsoft, US Govt all to blame for globalisation backlash: Jack Ma

Silicon Valley’s tech plutocrats have kept a relatively low profile at Davos, the WEF’s schmoozefest for corporate, government and NGO elites. But into the void stepped Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Alibaba is the gigantic, tat bazaar that has eclipsed the company it copied: eBay. Ma used to encourage new hires to perform …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's not exactly wrong

    > "It is not that the other countries steal jobs from you guys — that is your strategy. You did not distribute the money in the proper way."

    This guy seems to have his head on straight.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: He's not exactly wrong

      Bingo, too many were seduced by the idea of a service economy. They forgot someone has to make the stuff they use, wear, consume, etc. Those makers are manufacturers. Also, they forgot that there is a proper balance between economic sectors for a healthy economy. You need jobs for the burly men and the desk jockeys.

      1. Walter Bishop Silver badge

        Re: He's not exactly wrong

        "Bingo, too many were seduced by the idea of a service economy."

        I recall reading an interview with a leading City-of-London financier who seriously suggested that GB divest itself of manufacturing and live of the revenue generated in the City.

  2. travisgriggs@gmail.com

    Don't really agree with the guy, except here:

    "We just want the IP, the technology, and the brand, and we'll leave the other job. It is not that the other countries steal jobs from you guys — that is your strategy. You did not distribute the money in the proper way."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh my!

    "the “million” would be small business marketplace traders - who already rip off people with substandard or fraudulent products and/or outrageous shipping prices through eBay and Amazon’s platforms"

    FIFY!

    Sounds great! We "need" more of this nonsense, garbage, trading so idiots can profit off of putting some crap in a box and placing it in the post! Is THAT what made Alibaby successful? Wow, people are dumb.

    1. hattivat

      Re: Oh my!

      What actually made it successful is that it doesn't transfer the money to the trader until you, the buyer, confirm receiving the item. If the item is substandard, you can "open a dispute", and usually get a partial refund without having to return the item (returning it results in a full refund as in all other shops, but with most items sold being dirt-cheap, is often not worth it).

      And no, they don't rip you off on shipping, in fact quite the opposite - their strategy is to flood the world with Chinese products at implausibly low shipping costs (my gf has had items delivered to her from China for less than it would cost to send them in-country). This seems to me to be somehow subsidized by the Chinese state to strenghten their exports, otherwise I don't see how it could be so cheap.

      1. joed

        Re: Oh my!

        It's actually the buyer's country Post Office (=taxpayers) that subsidize the shipping of parcels from China (and other low cost places). All due to postal exchange agreements that had not foreseen shipping goods for sale (but were meant rather for casual letter, family gifts etc).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately the fear / hate of globalization used by demagogues without a plan for meaningfull jobs may combine with a civil service to produce a low-productivity hell dominated by a de-globalized civil service wantng to make special deals with every other state individually.

    My concern is definitely that we may will not be focussing on how to optimally use superior infrastructures and stability in the general economy and big institutions by trying to replace it with a retro-approach favouring "own standards" and "wheeling and dealing with techies".

  5. Tom 64
    Windows

    Ma found Trump "very open-minded, much more than I thought."

    I think he means susceptible to gifts, expensive dinners, brown envelopes stuffed with cash, etc

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China holds a truth mirror up to the US: where did the money go

    "Ma thought that the backlash against globalisation was the fault of the United States. Successive administrations had decided to withdraw from manufacturing and merely focus on high value sectors."

    "We just want the IP, the technology, and the brand, and we'll leave the other jobs”, is how he characterised it."

    "It is not that the other countries steal jobs from you guys — that is your strategy. You did not distribute the money in the proper way."

    "IBM, Microsoft, the profit they made was larger than the top four banks in China put together ... But where did the money go?"

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: China holds a truth mirror up to the US: where did the money go

      "Follow the money."

      Usually good advice.

  7. Sirius Lee

    yeah, yeah, yeah

    Sounds great. But the reason those jobs went abroad is that the local consumer is unwilling to pay for the cost of having things (actual things) produced locally. If things are produced domestically it is unlikely they will be produced at the same low cost because if they are the domestic worker will not have a domestic living wage.

    It's OK posting comments here about how bad globalization is but it's just virtue signalling unless you can also show that you already willing to swallow the extra cost because already you only buy domestically produced goods, goods that do not have foreign labor in the production chain.

  8. pureabsolute

    Towing the party line

    Sorry Jack -- Yes we did this to ourselves, but not because we decided on a weird business strategy -- we have some pretty smart guys over here (new and old) that would have course corrected long ago.

    We did this to ourselves by enforcing centrally a set of standards that China simply does not have to meet. We force companies to not pollute, and sue them into oblivion if they don't meet social standards such as osha or handicap availability or affirmative action type laws. I'm not saying its all bad, but these are costs that our companies must absorb.

    Meanwhile on your side of the equation you have smog holidays, your currency manipulation bankrupts the lower and middle classes, companies that match the party direction are subsidized and may not face any kind of competition, and foreign goods are allowed in only to the extent that they further the chinese strategic interests. The last part would be fine, except that that level of competition hasn't been met by an equal force from our side.

    Until now. While giving carrots to companies is something the US government avoids (minus political subsidization such as solyndra, tesla, etc), We see Trump willing to use the stick. Not my first choice (translation -- I oppose this policy..), but certainly better than the one sided handicapping the US has imposed on itself in the modern era.

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