rich problems

The Problems of Jack Ma



woe pain intend
yet retail founder
giant celebrity commerce
status behemoth headache
asset beyond entrepreneur
admit stock Initial Public Offering (IPO)
debut worth estimate
fortune inherit record-setting
ingenuity enterprise according to
wise government win/won/won
intense customer shareholder
share (2) unravel pressure (2)


Jack Ma

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, an online retail giant, is the richest man in China. And yet, Ma feels that having more money does bring more problems.

He has called his celebrity and upper-class status a “great pain”. “I didn’t start the e-commerce behemoth with the intention of becoming rich,” he said in an interview with CNBC.


While Ma said having lots of money is great, it can cause trouble. “This a big headache for me. You see, when you’re the richest person in the world, everybody wants to be near you — because everyone WANTS your money.”

Ma would like people to look beyond his assets. “People look at you differently when you become rich. However I want them to see me as an entrepreneur; I am just a guy who is having fun. I only want to be myself.”


Ma admits that he doesn’t even watch Alibaba’s stock price. The company debuted on Wall Street with a record-setting $25 billion IPO (Initial Public Offering) earlier this year. Following the IPO, Ma was worth an estimated $25.4 billion, according to research firm Wealth-X.

Spending Money

When it comes to spending his fortune, Ma is looking to do that in a “business way.” “When you have earned lots of money through hard work, ingenuity and enterprise, people trust that you are going to spend this money more wisely and efficiently than the government and others who have inherited or ‘won’ it.”

“This is my big challenge.”


Ma said intense pressure in recent months have made him very stressed. “I try to keep myself happy. Because if I’m not happy, my colleagues won’t be happy… and my shareholders won’t be happy…and my customers are not happy… and everything will unravel.”
“But if I’m truly happy, everything will be okay.”


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1. Who is Jack Ma? What is his occupation? How did he become rich?

2. He feels that being rich brings problems to him. Is this true or false?

3. Why is being wealthy such a headache for Ma?

4. Does Ma want people to see him as a celebrity?

5. What is Alibaba? What happened to Alibaba?

6. Who can spend money better, the government or a business person like Ma?

7. It’s important for Ma to be happy. Is this correct or wrong?
A. Do you agree with Jack Ma? Does wealth bring problems?

B. Who are some rich people in your city? Are they famous or celebrities?

C. Would you like to be like Jack Ma or other super rich people?

D. I want to be rich (but secretly and be unknown). Yes or no?

E. How can someone become rich?

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