The CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba talked about the company’s lofty goals in an interview Friday with Bloomberg TV’s Charlie Rose at Davos.
Ma claimed in the interview that he was visited by a Walmart executive in China, and that he made a bet with the man about the company’s future.
“He said I’m doing a good job,” Ma claimed.
Jack Ma then joked with the unnamed Walmart exec about Alibaba’s incredible growth.
“I said we’ll make a bet, in 10 years we’ll be bigger than Walmart on sales.”
“If you want 10,000 new customers you have to build a new warehouse and this and that. For me: two servers.”
That’s the important part. Alibaba can scale its business far cheaper than Walmart can. It’s that low-cost expansion that has enabled Alibaba to dominate entire industries. Alibaba now accounts for over 60% of packages delivered in China, and it’s on track to become the first e-commerce company to handle $US1 trillion a year in transactions.
Charlie Rose asked Ma what Alibaba’s market cap is compared to Walmart. Interetingly, Ma said that he didn’t know, but that he would look it up after the interview.
Ma has spoken out in the past about his desire to overtake Walmart in transactions. “We want to be bigger than Walmart.” Ma told CNBC last year. “We want to be bigger. It’s not the size. We want to learn from Walmart.”