China's richest man says he was happier earning $12 a month

"When you have $1 million, you are a lucky person. When you got $10 million, you’ve got trouble."

Web Desk June 11, 2015
Alibaba founder Jack Ma. PHOTO: AFP

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.


A Peshawaryg | 6 years ago | Reply How can one know what ever he is saying is true? Why did he try and achieved earning from 12 to Billions of dollars. He was more happy with 12 dollars then billions might be true but ask someone who is striving hard to earn these 12 dollars. The realities of the life of much harder than the television talks. A Peshawary
Jerry Few | 6 years ago | Reply How Much is Enough? When you start out your needs are small, as you advance you find out that your needs have gotten larger, A small car is nice, but a mid size car would be better, a little meat of any kind taste good, but a nice steak would just go great. And it never stops. The more you earn, the larger your needs, never ending go-a-round. Chase the money or live within your means. Like quitting smoking, easier said than done.
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