Jack Ma, the founder of the $239 bln e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, was appointed by the Malaysian government to mentor companies in the various sectors of its digital economy.

In early November of last year, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak officially announced Ma’s important role in the country’s growing e-commerce industry as an adviser and mentor. Razak stated that the partnership between Ma and the Malaysian government will allow the nation’s e-commerce industry to grow exponentially towards the right direction.

Razak stated:

"We will be in partnership with Jack on the path and route to the future. You can see that China is the place to be. It has 300 million middle-class people, larger than (the) US population. We hope, together with Alibaba, we can make Malaysia and China more prosperous."

Malaysia focus

The appointment of Ma is a part of a larger plan of the Malaysian government to boost the growth of the country’s digital economy. The government believes the emergence of new and innovative technologies will allow the country to be at the forefront of a technological revolution.

Two of the many industries which Ma specializes in are e-commerce and Fintech. Ma’s Alibaba is the second largest e-commerce company behind Amazon. Alibaba operates a $60 bln Fintech application known as Alipay, which has a market cap four times larger than Bitcoin, due to the vast user base of the Chinese market.

The Malaysian government hopes to benefit from Ma’s expertise in the fields of Fintech and e-commerce and expects Ma to advise leading companies in establishing efficient business models and establishing both short and long-term growth strategies to compete on a global level.

Ma’s extensive involvement in the Malaysian digital economy will also aid the development and emergence of unique Fintech service providers looking to overtake the traditional financial industry with cheaper, faster and more robust alternatives.

Alipay, a financial application developed by Alibaba’s subsidiary company Ant Financial, is currently used by hundreds of millions of Chinese users to settle payments nationwide. Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Alipay is being used by Chinese employees to receive salaries, as the general consumer base prefers to receive payments through a non-bank alternative like Alipay due to low fees and reduced confirmation periods.

In the next few years, the Malaysian economy will see a significant change in the Fintech industry.