MANILA - Chinese billionaire and technology entrepreneur Jack Ma said Wednesday that the Philippines, with its high mobile phone penetration, was poised to ride the new technological revolution, as he urged brick and mortar enterprises to embrace e-commerce.
The founder and chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba said his mobile data connection was "not good" when he arrived in Manila late Tuesday. He said this provided government and carriers the opportunity to "work together."
"You have the opportunity, so many mobile phones, mobile phone coverage anywhere," Ma told students of the De La Salle University in Manila.
"We should make the Philippines a cashless society. Cashless society, no corruption. Life is easier," he said.
Ma, the world's 23rd richest man according to Forbes Magazine, said "dreamers" would lead the "third technological revolution" by building services on internet technology.
"The old economy should not fear but it should change immediately," Ma said. "Please change quickly, its not the competitor killing you, it's the future killing you."
Refusing to tap the internet is "just like last century, you refuse to use electricity," Ma said. "It's gonna be dangerous," he said.
Ma said Asia was at the forefront of what he calls the third technological revolution.
"Today, everybody has a mobile phone. Mobile phone can make everybody equal in technology," he said.
Ma has a controlling stake in internet marketplace Lazada, which has up to 10 million customers in the Philippines. His Ant Financial also forged a strategic partnership with Globe Telecom.