Jack Ma blasts global financial regulators’ curbs on innovation


Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma criticized global financial regulations for stifling innovation and urged China to seek a system that accommodated development.

“After the Asian financial crisis, the risk control highlighted in the Basel Accords has been” the priority for regulators, Ma said at the Bund Summit in Shanghai on Saturday. Now the world “only focuses on risk control, not on development, and rarely do they consider opportunities for young people and developing countries.”

Jack Ma, billionaire and chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., gestures as he speaks during an event at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Ma, Alibaba co-founder, argues that nations from Japan to China need to develop their own semiconductor technology to get around America’s grip on the global chip market.

The Basel Accords, which Ma likened to a club for the elderly, are used to solve problems for financial systems that have been operating for decades, he said. China, however, is still a “youth” and needs more innovation to build an ecosystem for the healthy development of the local industry, according to Ma.

Digital currencies may play an important role in building the type of a financial system that will be needed in the next 30 years, Ma said.

“Digital currency could create value and we should think about how to establish a new type of financial system through digital currency,” said Ma.

Ma’s fintech giant Ant Group Co. plans initial public offerings in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ma said that the firm set the price of its Shanghai listing on Friday, without providing details. The deal is one of the most hotly anticipated IPOs in years, on course to make history by surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion share sale in 2019.

—Bloomberg News