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News Jack Ma not canceling on Indonesia

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by November 12, 2016 General

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, may continue to support Indonesia’s e-commerce as an adviser, as Alibaba Group puts the country in a strategic position in its globalization drive.

Ma, listed on Forbes’ world’s rich and powerful list, has dismissed reports that he has canceled plans to be Indonesia’s e-commerce adviser. 

“I never say no,” Ma told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of Alibaba’s Singles Day or the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, dubbed the world’s biggest e-commerce event, in Shenzhen, China, on Friday evening. 

“I received the invitation from the government. I haven’t heard since,” he added.

Indonesian Information and Communications Minister Rudiantara recently said Indonesia had “lost” to Malaysia in securing Ma as adviser for the country’s e-commerce development plans, adding he had seen pictures of Ma and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in agreement to become the neighboring country’s digital economy adviser.

Najib announced last week during his trip to China his agreement with Ma, two months after Ma was widely reported to have accepted Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s offer to be an adviser to the Indonesian government in a visit to China in September.

Alibaba Group has placed Southeast Asia – along with India, Brazil and Russia – as its key market in the company’s globalization drive to secure 2 billion new consumers outside of China, Alibaba Group president Michael Evans said on Friday

“We acquired [Southeast Asia e-commerce] Lazada so that we can be in Indonesia as well as five other Southeast Asian countries […] obviously Indonesia being the largest market,” Alibaba Group co-founder and vice chairman Joseph Tsai said. 

Alibaba Group acquired Lazada for US$1 billion earlier this year in its biggest overseas acquisition, facilitating its presence in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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