Jack Ma’s Real Intention: Yahoo! or Alibaba?

Soon after Jack Ma gave his keynote at the China 2.0 conference at Stanford University, the U.S. media was flooded with news that “Jack Ma is interested in buying Yahoo.” At a time when Yahoo!, one of the world’s first Internet pioneers, is struggling, a Chinese suitor sounds particularly alarming.

I was at the conference. Ma started his speech by assuring the audience that his appearance in the States has nothing to do with “getting to Yahoo.” But no one seemed to believe him. Most questions directed to him were in the vein of: “Do you plan to buy Yahoo?” “Have you approached Yahoo for a deal?” “How are you going to buy Yahoo and when?”

Jack Ma’s answer to these questions was, not surprisingly, politically correct: “I am very interested.”

People who speculate that Jack Ma’s aim is to acquire Yahoo! may have missed the point. His real intention may very well be to expand his Alibaba Group to the U. S. market. “I want to learn one thing here,” he said, “how we can help U.S. SMEs (small and medium enterprises). What value we can create between us, Amazon and eBay.”

That has always been Jack Ma’s ambition. People who have followed his story may know his famous line: “eBay may be a shark in the ocean, but I am a crocodile in the Yangtze River.” Now, the crocodile is testing the water in the ocean. Will the crocodile turn into a shark?

Read the full story by me on Forbes: Beware of Crocodile Entering the Ocean.

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Remembering Steve Jobs

Last night, after learning the shocking news of Steve Jobs’ passing, I went to Apple campus to pay tribute to him. Here are a couple of photos I took with my iPhone:

Some people set up a little memorial for him on campus. They brought flowers and cards, lit candles, and stood in silence. It was a somber scene.

In remembering him, I am glad that I have all Steve Jobs’ creation: Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air. He has certainly changed my life, and definitely changed the world.

Thank you, Steve. Rest in peace.

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