Jack Ma is a Chinese businessman magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He’s also the co-founder of Alibaba; a Chinese multinational technology company focusing on e-commerce, internet, retail, and technology.
He’s one of the world’s most influential/ powerful people. He also serves as the global brand ambassador for Chinese Business and the 2nd wealthiest person in China presently.
Ma was born in 1964 as Ma Yun in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. He learned English from a very young age and by the time he was 9 years old he was traveling 27km to guide tourists to practice his English skills. He was also writing to a foreign pen pal who nicknamed Ma as ‘Jack’.
His parents were traditional musicians in China. The family had a very limited income scheme thus making Ma grow up in a poor household but happy childhood.
It took 3 long years for Ma to clear the Chinese entrance exam to get enrolled in college as the entrance exam was held once in a year only. He was enrolled in Hangzhou Normal University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1998.
After graduation, he started teaching English and international trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University.
Ma had a dream to study at Harvard Business School but unfortunately was rejected 10 times.
While being a teacher, he applied for 50 different jobs but was turned down. He even wanted to enroll as a police officer at some point but was told that he’s not good enough. His life wasn’t going according to the perfect propositions or the way it should’ve been.
In 1994, he got to know about the concept ‘Internet’. He started his company ‘Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency’ soon afterward.
In 1994 he traveled to the US with a friend and was surprised to find many details about beer from several countries but not China. He was also surprised at the fact that the internet had detailed accounts about his country. When he returned to China with his friend, they launched the website ‘Ugly’. After a few hours of the launch, Ma was contacted by several investors, promising a budding success.
In 1995, he started his 2nd company, ‘China Pages’. The same year he and his partner He Yibing registered the domain in the US ‘Chinapages.com’ and within the next 3 years, the company was estimated $800, 000.
After his success with internet sites, Ma started developing websites for Chinese companies. From 1998 to 1999 he was the head of an IT company by China International Electronic Commerce Center, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
In 1999, he resigned from his post to establish ‘Alibaba’ with 18 other friends.
Alibaba became a global e-commerce system soon. Ma went on founding Marketplace, Ali Mama, Lynx, and Alipay; all Chinese shopping web schemes.
However, in 2018, Ma announced that he’s stepping down from his post as the CEO of the Alibaba Group. Rumors started to roam that Chinese officers are behind this but Ma denied the rumors and made a statement that he was focusing on philanthropy. Presently, Daniel Zhang acts as the CEO of Alibaba.
Ma married Cathy Zhang, whom he met at Hangzhou Normal University. The couple got married right after graduation in 1988. They have 3 children together according to sources.
In 2017, Ma made his acting debut in the short movie ‘Gong Shou Dao’.
In 2018, he founded the ‘Jack Ma Foundation’ to improve education, public health, and the environment.
By the year 2020, Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation together created many programs to help the COVID – 19 pandemic infected people. The foundations donated medical supplies to Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US.
As of 2020, Ma’s net worth is $42.1 billion. Although, he’s considered a shrewd businessman he knows how to walk away as a winner when needed. He’s a shining specimen of what a man could achieve if one sets his sights towards a worthy cause.