Jack Ma, Chinese founder of e-commerce marketplace Alibaba, said he was happier when he worked as an English language teacher at a university in his hometown.
Speaking at a lunch with the Economics Club of New York earlier this week, Ma said that this period was the "best life I had."
"If you have less than $1 million, you know how to spend the money," he said during his speech. "[At] $1 billion, that's not your money...The money I have today is a responsibility. It's the trust of people on me."
Ma said he felt a need to spend his money "on behalf of the society."
During a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in late 2014, Ma expressed similar views. “When you have $1 million, you are a lucky person. When you got $10 million, you’ve got trouble.”
After Alibaba’s IPO, Ma told CNBC that getting a lot of attention was a pain. In the interview, he says he doesn’t like being called the richest person in China. “I just want to do the things I want to do.”
He said he did not found Alibaba in the hopes of one day becoming a wealthy entrepreneur. When you’re too rich “everyone is surrounding you for money,” he adds.
This story first appeared on Business Insider.
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