Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Communication & Technology

As Intel and Alibaba team up, why should Jack Ma retire?


Stock price % change of Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings and CSI Overseas China Internet Index (CSIOCNI data by YCharts, chart picture from Seeking Alpha)

“Intel and Alibaba Cloud have announced,” quoted from a Hi-Tech news website published on Sep 21, “the launch of the Joint Edge Computing Platform, an open architecture for Internet of Things (loT) applications that integrates AI (Artificial Intelligence) and cloud technologies for edging computing.”

On Oct 1, another Hi-Tech specialist reported that “Alibaba is committing heavily into the R&D of AI technology and its application …”

At this critical moment of transforming Alibaba from a successful B2B, B2C and C2C trading platform to an AI pioneer, Jack Ma, the founding chairman and CEO, said in early Sept that he would retire in a year’s time.

Seeking Alpha says it is a “Shocking Exit: The surprise and haphazard announcement added to the uncertainty in the stock already hammered by the onslaught of trade tensions and harsher regulatory environment on tech companies in China.”

Very briefly speaking, our modern world has gone through numerous sub-stages to become ‘Electrical-Mechanical’ — using electricity to operate heavy machines such as locomotive, aircraft, etc, and then ‘Electronic-Digital’ — chip, computer, mobile phone, etc. Thirty years ago, for example, mobile phone was just a dream. Looking forward, AI, cloning and stem cell technologies will bring humans to another unthinkable world. As it is so exciting, why should Jack Ma quit?

Personally speaking, since AI is a high-risk project which does not guarantee another peak of profitable product cycle, Jack Ma can maintain his magical name, in case it turned out to be a failure, by being distanced from its consequence (Alibaba’s share price falls along with other tech firms without exception, see the chart above). As a commercial genius, rather than a scientist, Jack Ma may not be able to master this project. Furthermore, he may have something more interesting to do (see below).

Nationally speaking, AI is highly politically and militarily sensitive. Israel, for instance, is well known for its splendid success in running the dual mode of developing military and commercially-viable technologies. AI, therefore, is a core theme to the state’s future upgrade in China. Jack Ma’s ‘early retirement’ has two benefits since he has no Communist Party background.

First, someone more trusted by Beijing can fully control the AI project with Alibaba’s gigantic resources and efficient network.

Second, Jack Ma can become, next to the basketball player Yau Ming, another non-political icon of China. Jack Ma will be free to speak his mind, including criticism of Beijing’s policies. His clean and smart image will help diversify China’s image abroad.

Someone may raise a question: “Why American corporations like Intel co-operate with Chinese firms like Alibaba?” Other than money consideration, it is a win-win mentality. China needs American assistance, and Americans need to know how fast or far and what China is developing, with a Washington assumption that China is one of the very few nations on Earth capable of bring AI into real life.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

Advertisements

About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Chinesenewskenya’s Post – chinesenewske - October 29, 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Type 407 Training Visas

Get An Australian Diploma

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

Sell Your Real Estate To Chinese Investors

China Daily Mail

China Daily Mail is not affiliated in any way with The China Daily or the government of the People's Republic of China.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Want to write for China Daily Mail?

Read "Contributor Guidelines" above to join our team of 68 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China Daily Mail Stories Have Been Featured In:

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: