The founder and executive chairman of the e-commerce giant Alibaba isn’t happy about being the richest man in China.
Jack Ma became China’s richest man after Alibaba IPO’d in September, and he told CNBC that he thought the responsibility and celebrity that came with it was a “great pain” and that he was not happy.
The pressure gets to him, especially as people put high expectations on Alibaba’s stock price.
“IPO is great because … I’m happy with the results,” he says. “But honestly, I think when people think too highly of you, you have the responsibility to calm down and be yourself.”
Ma says he tries to make himself happy, because he knows the happiness of his colleagues, shareholders, and customers depends on his outlook, to some extent.
Not only does the stock price and thinking about the future worry him, but he feels as if people look at him differently when they see him on the street. He thinks people have started surrounding him because of his riches, not because of who he is.
He says he never expected to make so much money from Alibaba, and, from the beginning, what he really wanted was to be a respected businessman.
“I want people to see this is entrepreneur, this is a guy who is having fun of himself,” Ma says. “I want to be myself.”
He told CNBC he was looking for ways to use his enormous wealth to give back to society.