Header AD

Triggered? Chinese tycoon Jack Ma rattles PLDT, Globe

Jack Ma, arguably the richest man in Asia, was in the Philippines for some engagements.

Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma looked upbeat after a meeting with President Duterte at MalacaƱang yesterday despite reports that he complained of the slow internet connection in the country.
Dave Luchansky
PTPA Dave Luchansky
Duterte and Ma talked about bringing in platforms to boost the mobile technology, internet banking and e-commerce industry in the Philippines.

Yesterday, at the forum organized by the De La Salle University, Jack Ma eagerly complained about the current state of the internet in the Philippines.

Noting the slow local connection, Ma also expressed interest to help boost internet services for the Philippines.

“Perfect! Excellent meeting,” Ma told reporters at the Palace grounds when asked how his meeting with Duterte went.

Accompanied by Finance Secretary Carlos Domiguez III, Sen. Richard Gordon and government officials on his way out of MalacaƱang, Ma posed for selfies with star-struck guests who were also passing by the main entrance to attend other events yesterday.

“It was very good,” Ma said between the taking of photographs.

The Philippines' slow internet had even the ever-optimistic Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of global tech giant Alibaba Group, frustrated.

"I arrived late last night and I tried to test the speed of Philippine internet... It's no good," the Chinese tycoon said in a forum at De La Salle University on Wednesday, October 25, after having been awarded an honorary degree in Technopreneurship.

The remark drew laughter from the audience, which happened to include Globe Telecom chief executive officer Ernest Cu and PLDT chief revenue officer Eric Alberto. Later on, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion once again drew attention to both firms when discussing the slow internet in the country.

Last May, Akamai Technologies' Global State of the Internet Report showed that the Philippines has the slowest average internet speed in Asia Pacific.

Its average connection speed is just 5.5 mbps, falling short of the global average internet connection speed of 7.2 mbps.

Many observers blame the situation on the duopoly in the Philippine telco sector between Globe and PLDT.

Early on in his presidency, President Rodrigo Duterte even warned both telcos to beef up their services or he would open up the sector to foreign competition. (READ: PLDT, Globe, Meralco: Yes to foreign players)

For a time last year, it seemed that more competition would come from the domestic front in the form of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and its would-be partner, Australian firm Telstra Corporation.

But that deal fell through and the saga of the search for a 3rd major player to provide more competition to the two established firms took another turn earlier this week when the Court of Appeals affirmed Globe and PLDT's P69.1-billion deal to split SMC's telco assets.

Ma, however, took a diplomatic approach to the situation, pointing out that the business sector should simply focus on solving the problem.

Startled by the impact of Jack Ma's comments, PLDT and Globe went scrambling to defend their respective firms.

Triggered? Chinese tycoon Jack Ma rattles PLDT, Globe Triggered? Chinese tycoon Jack Ma rattles PLDT, Globe Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 7:11:00 AM Rating: 5

Post AD