Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma tried the Philippines' internet service when he arrived on Tuesday night and was unequivocal with his assessment.
"It's no good," Ma said to both applause and laughter during his lecture at the De La Salle University on Wednesday.
"But this is the potential, this is the opportunity and I encourage this government, entrepreneurs, everybody, to work together to improve the speed and coverage of the internet," he added.
"If we're not covering the internet, it's gonna be worse which is like a hundred years ago how our cities, our countries [were] not connected to the electricity. It's gonna be worse, so we have to make sure that everybody is connected because when you're connected, you can be mobiled, when you're mobiled, you're everywhere," Ma said.
Ma is the founder and executive chair of Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-commerce company.
He has an estimated net worth of $38.3 billion net worth according to Forbes magazine.
Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu and PLDT chief revenue officer Eric Alberto were in the audience when the 53-year-old Chinese billionaire had called out the slow internet connection in the country.
"Blame them (Smart and Globe) for the slow internet," presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and ASEAN business advisory council chair Joey Concepcion said in jest.
"Honestly, it's unfair to blame anybody...When we started Alibaba, the speed of internet in China was terrible. Much worse than today's Philippines, much worse," Ma said in response.
"But that's not an excuse for mobile companies," he added.
Speedtest's Global Index report showed that the Philippines' broadband internet is ranked 94th while its mobile internet is ranked 100th.
Among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, the Philippines remain in the bottom four in the region in terms of internet speed. —NB, GMA News