Billionaire Was Happiest When He Made $12 a Month

Richest man in China wishes company never went public
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2015 11:44 AM CDT
Billionaire Was Happiest When He Made $12 a Month
Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma waits for a reporter's question during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, May 19, 2015.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma told guests at a New York luncheon yesterday that he was happier when he made $12 a month—no, really. Ma's e-commerce company, the Alibaba Group, went public in September for a whopping $25 billion, the highest initial public offering in history. The founder and executive chairman is the richest man in China, and Forbes reports his net worth at over $25 billion. But Ma says his best days were more than 20 years ago, when he taught English at a college in Hangzhou, China. "If you have less than $1 million, you know how to spend the money," he told attendees of the Economic Club luncheon, according to Business Insider.

"[At] $1 billion, that's not your money. ... The money I have today is a responsibility. It's the trust of people on me," he said. Ma went as far as to say he wished Alibaba had never gone public, and that things are "much worse" for him and the company since the IPO. It appears that having the eyes of the world fixed upon Alibaba is taxing for the businessman. "It's not only our people that watch us, the globe watches us," he explained, according to CNNMoney. "You have to get used to it." (Ma has made similar comments before.)

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