Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA) and the newly minted richest man in China has admitted in a CNBC interview that being super rich is actually causing him “great pain”.
Speaking from his company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, the 49 year old Ma, whose net worth has spiked to almost $20 billion after Alibaba’s record-breaking $25 billion IPO on the NYSE in September, said he has not been happy recently.
“This month I’m not very happy ; I think too much pressure,” Ma told the broadcaster. “People say, ‘Well Jack, rich people is good. Yeah it is good, but not the richest man in China. It’s a great pain because when you’re [the] richest person in the world, everybody [is] surrounding you for money” he said.
Ma added that people now looked at him differently: “Today when I walk on the street, people look at you in a different..I want people to see this is entrepreneur, this is a guy who is having fun of himself, and I want to be myself.” Ma also said that “spending money is much more difficult than making money”.
“My happiest days were when I used to earn $15 a month,” the former English teacher once nostalgically told state media.