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Ma: Open to Joint Venture with Amazon, Won't Rule out Yahoo! Acquisition

In an interview with Emily Chang (@emilychangtv) live from the floor of the NYSE, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma said he is open to a joint venture with Amazon, "I would be interested in talking because as always anything, anybody that involving helping small business we will feel excited. " Ma also told the Bloomberg Television anchor that he has heard from Marissa Meyer and that he has a big surprise in store.

Courtesy of Bloomberg Television Interview with Emily Chang


On what he says to people who thought he was crazy:

"Yes. I think as we give the souvenir today that everybody should have a dream. What if that dream comes true? So I believed that 15 years ago that internet is going to change China, is going to improve the world, whether you believe or not, whether we will succeed or not, but somebody will succeed. So if you don't work hard, if you don't keep on working every day nobody has the chance. So we are - I never know that we will be here today..."

On whether he plans to buy Yahoo!:

"I don't know if they would sell [Laughter]. No. I think the very important thing is that we want to build up a company, not the buying company. We want to make sure that our ecosystem helps the small guys. Anything that can help the small business grow we will consider."

On whether he has spoken to Marissa Mayer:

"I - we talked about a couple of months ago. And yesterday she sent a nice email to me so congratulating anything, yes."

On the biggest challenges of being a global company and dealing with the Chinese government:

"Well, being a global company dealing with any government is difficult. So it's a great opportunity if you deal with the government well and communicate with them, listen to their problem, solve their problems, tell them your problems that's the opportunity for communication. That's what we survived the past 15 years, always try to say in love with the government, but don't marry with them. I mean this is our philosophy, making sure that you solve the problem they want to solve. "

On the timeline for U.S. expansion:

"We already started helping a lot of small business in the U.S. in California, in Washington. And still we sell American cherries and we're selling a lot of seafood. And we want to sell more things. We are coming here not to compete. We're coming here to help a lot of small business, which I think a lot of things may need to be done. It's not of a competition."

On whether he is open to a joint venture with Amazon:

"I would be interested in talking because as always anything, anybody that involving helping small business we will feel excited. "

On what mistakes U.S. companies are making as they try an expand in China:

"I think they should send entrepreneurs there. Every market if it is a market economy you have to making sure you have the entrepreneurs there, not only the professional managers. My view is that try to make your customer happy instead of make your boss happy. And making sure send the people there in this market have patience and having, have the time to do that. And what we want to do is that we want to help a lot of small buys because big guys are already in China. Small guys they need a help like us. And we - this is what we are excited about."

On business ideas he has said no to:

"I'm saying no to a lot of ideas because as a CEO I have to say no to opportunities because if I say yes I probably get and 5,000 opportunities every day. But whether yes or no, everything based on the mission that we are helping doing business easier. If it's on that we'll consider. If oh and somebody come and say can you - we will have the list you, we'll make a lot of money, I'm not interested."

On whether he is 'really' the CEO:

"No. I'm the chairman. I focus my time on training, developing people. I focus my time on government relationship with all the nations that helping small business. I focus my time in global expansion. That's all strategic thinking. I don't do any this kind of operation work."

On what is his next surprise:

"Well It's coming. [Laughter]"

On whether he has celebrated with his co-founders:

"Well we had a big dinner last night. And everybody cried. And we said, well 15 years we never know that we could of through. Who are the people we should be thankful? We say we thank the customers. We thank the young - it's the people. It's not us. So that's why we put the young people there and the customers because we believe after 15 years the purpose of working so hard is that we want to make these people successful because when they're successful our success is a result."


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