Speaking at a luncheon at the Economics Club of New York on Tuesday, Ma touched on a variety of topics, notably his ambitions for his e-commerce company, Alibaba. Ma took Alibaba public in September 2014 for a massive $25 billion. By next year, he said he plans to surpass Walmart's $482 billion sales figure, and within the next 10 years, he wants to roll out 72-hour global delivery services, as well as hit the 2 billion shoppers mark, according to USA Today.
If all goes as planned, this billionaire's pockets could get even deeper. Even so, Ma says he misses the simpler life when he had to pinch pennies to get by.
Ma reflected back on his time spent as an English teacher in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, decades ago back in 1988. He said that you develop important fiscal habits when you're a low-income earner. For one thing, if you have less money, it's easier to keep track of how you should be spending it. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, whose poor financial decisions have earned him unwanted attention in the press, would likely agree with that statement.
Ma also spoke of the responsibility that comes with riches, in that he must be thinking of how he can better serve society at large. Anything less than $1 million, he added, is the sweet spot. Because, you know, it's rough being a billionaire.