Jack Ma, Chinese Internet Billionaire

Jack Ma is a Chinese internet entrepreneur and a self-made billionaire. He currently serves as the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. He was the first person in mainland China to appear on Forbes Magazine’s cover. After resigning as the CEO of Alibaba Group in May 2013, Ma assumed the role of Executive Chairman of the company. In 2013, the magazine ranked him as the 8th richest person in China and the 395th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $7.1 billion.

Ma was born October 15, 1964 in Zhejiang Province, China. In 1988, he graduated from the Hangzhou Normal University (formerly known as Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute) with a bachelor’s degree in English. He is the founder of China YellowPages, the first internet-based company in China, as well as Alibaba Group, which is a group of thriving internet-businesses. 

Business Endeavors 

Ma’s started out as a website developer. With the help of his friends in the United States, he started developing websites for various companies in China. In the year 1995, he founded YellowPages, a company that is believed to be the first internet-based firm China. In 1998, he became the head of information and technology company that was established by a department of Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation known as China International Electronic Commerce Centre. He served as the head of the company for one year. 

In 1999, Ma established Alibaba.com, a business-to-business market place based in China. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of the company for about 14 years. He then made his intentions of resigning from the position as CEO of the company on January 2012, and said that the resignation would be effective as of May, 2013. After resigning from his CEO post, he assumed the role of Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group

Alibaba is one of the most successful internet companies in China. It was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma. Today, Alibaba serves over 80 million members from over 240 countries. Alibaba Group comprises of nine subsidiaries, which are Alibaba Cloud Computing, Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com, Alipay, Tmall, Taobao Marketplace, Juhuasuan, eTao and 1688.com. Towards the end of 2012, the online transaction volume of the company surpassed one trillion yuan. 

Other Interests

Ma also serves as a board member of China’s Huayi Brothers Media Corporation and Japan’s SoftBank. In 2009, he became a trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s China Program. He joined the global board of directors of The Nature Conservancy’s China Program in 2010.  In fact, he is the first Chinese citizen to be a member of the Nature Conservancy’s board. 

Honors and Recognition

In 2004, Ma was named one of the “Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year” by China Central Television and its viewers. In 2005, he was named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. In the same year, Fortune ranked him as one of the “25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia. In 2007, he was named “Businessperson of the Year” by BusinessWeek. 

In 2008, Ma was ranked among the “30 World’s Best CEO’s by Barron. In 2007, Time Magazine included him in the “Time 100 list of the World’s Most Influential People”. In 2009, Forbes ranked him as one of the “Top 10 Most Respected Entrepreneurs in China”. In 2009, Ma was awarded with the “CCTV Economic Person of the Year: Business Leaders of the Decade” Award.

Personal Life

Ma is married with two children, a son and a daughter. 

Interesting Facts about Jack Ma 

  • He failed the entrance exam twice before joining the Hangzhou Teacher's Institute.

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