Alibaba prefers Africa over Europe, as the latter is “too anxious” about data and privacy protections, the company’s founder Jack Ma said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Ma is one of China’s richest men, and Alibaba one of its most valuable companies. Much of the firm’s core business — e-commerce and digital payments — involves exploitation of user data, so its unsurprising Ma fancies such concerns as minor compared to the benefits companies can deliver to customers who surrender their information.
“Unless you truly understand technology, [excessive supervision of companies] will make everything very hard,” Ma added.
Last year the EU implemented sweeping data-protection regulations that stipulate steep penalties for privacy violations.
Thus, Alibaba is less interested in Europe, Ma said, as Africa “believes in technology.”
Ma also said that within three to five years, 500 African entrepreneurs will receive Alibaba-backed training in China.
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