Alibaba's Ma says 30 percent of China retail sales online in five years

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Jack Ma, the chairman of China's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group, expects 30 percent of China's total retail sales to be conducted online in the next five years, Ma told a conference on Wednesday.

Ma, who founded Alibaba in 1999 and has since become one of China's best-known corporate names, said his forecast was based on "conservative" estimates. He said the next five years would be the "golden period" for e-commerce in China.

Ma was speaking at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)