Indonesia asks Jack Ma to help boost e-commerce sector

Jack Ma, chairman of China's Alibaba Group has been asked by the Indonesian government to act as adviser in boosting the growth of the country's emerging e-commerce industry.

Indonesian government will set up a steering committee consisting of 10 ministers for which it has asked Ma (pictured) to be an adviser, said communication and information minister Rudiantara in a video released by the State Secretariat on Friday. 

“I propose Jack Ma as an adviser to the steering committee, so that Indonesia may be able to catch greater attention from the global e-commerce marketplace when they see that even Jack Ma is willing to advise us,” Rudiantara said. Rudiantara is also part of President Joko Widodo's delegation attending China's G20 summit in Hangzhou.

Having the world's fourth largest population of about 260 million people, Indonesia's emerging e-commerce market which comes with young demographics is gaining attention from investors worldwide. Alibaba's Ma has become one of the big investors in Indonesia after acquiring a controlling stake in the online retailer Lazada Group earlier this year for around US$1 billion.

Meanwhile, its local ride-hailing service Go-Jek has also its raised latest funding of over US$550 million from investors led by KKR and Warburg Pincus, in competing with local players like Grab and Uber.

Go-Jek's app which was launched in 2015, has since expanded to offer other services like mobile payments, food deliveries and cleaning services.