Alibaba founder Jack Ma said Wednesday the coming year could be rocky for China as the country presses a crackdown on excessive spending by government employees and continues its economic transition.
"I believe the next five to 15 months will be a tough time for China for various reasons, of course, one, the anti-corruption will definitely have some effect," Ma said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Ma does not see a significant decline in China during that time, adding that the government's 7 percent growth target is still reachable. But even growth of 5 to 6 percent is enough so long as the country invests in the right places and producers focus on quality over quantity.
He said the Chinese economy will only be sustainable once it is "clean" and "transparent," and the next five to 15 years will be good times for the country.
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Ma acknowledged that the economy is slowing down as the traditional growth drivers—exporting and infrastructure investment—cool off. He said Internet endeavors and e-commerce provide a way of creating new paths to growth.