Alibaba founder appointed as PM’s business advisor » SMEInsider

Alibaba founder appointed as PM’s business advisor

As Britain hosts China’s head of state for the first time in ten years, David Cameron has moved quickly to forge trade links with the country, appointing Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba as his business advisor.


Get SMEs ‘boosting’

Ma was appointed to the role just one day before President Xi Jinping began a four day state visit to the United Kingdom, as the UK looks to strengthen ties with the world’s second largest economy.

The appointment also gives Alibaba a great opportunity to move into Europe, with the online shopping group dominating primarily in Asia. Alibaba is a billion pound conglomerate, with links to mobile technology, payment services and the Chinese film industry.

According to a spokeswoman for Cameron, Ma will ‘‘provide particular help and advice on how to get small and medium-sized British businesses boosting their exports and in particular accessing Chinese markets through platforms like Alibaba.’’

Building strong ties with China

Ma becomes the 20th member of Cameron’s Business Advisory Group, with current membership including Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Apple, Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone and Dyson founder Sir James Dyson.

British entrepreneurs and small business owners have been working hard to break into the Chinese market. Earlier this month, Francis Maude, the government’s minister of state for trade and investment joined 40 SME owners in Shanghai as they met with Chinese retailers.

The trip was part of Enterprise Nation’s Go Global Mission with the group aiming to find firm trade links with the Far East, with China being the UK’s sixth largest trading partner.