Biography of Jack Ma: the founder of Alibaba and the richest man in China

Jack Ma is one of the best examples of the entrepreneurial spirit of the world in recent times.

Jack Ma was one of the first believers on the Internet and he was sure that through this means of communication business could be done.

Obviously at that time nobody believed that the Internet would become what it is now. Well, many of his friends and family believed that Jack was crazy and that doing business online was silly.

Like most entrepreneurs who have achieved success around the world they have had different businesses until Jack ran a large e-commerce business called “Alibaba”.

Currently Jack Ma is the richest man in China and his biography is a story of entrepreneurial success .

As I had told you, Jack Ma , the founder and president of the Alibaba Group is the richest man in China , according to Forbes.

Beginnings of Jack Ma and his hometown

Ma Yun or Jack Ma , was born on September 10, 1964 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Like many stories of great entrepreneurs who have achieved success, Jack Ma grew up in a poor family and was educated in the strict rules of Marxism that ruled the schools of communist China.

From an early age, the English language caught his attention, so he commented that he studied it every day, practicing speaking with foreigners at the Hangzhou Hotel. It was not easy because to get to the hotel and achieve his goal he had to travel on his bike for more than an hour.

To continue learning all he could about the English language, Jack Ma worked for 9 long years as a tour guide.

Jack's name was obtained thanks to a friend he met through correspondence in the United States.

Throughout his life, from his birth to the moment in which he managed to create his great empire, Jack Ma has failed many times, was rejected hundreds of times, even called insane even by his father who warned him that his unique and original ideas They could get you in trouble in China.

Despite all these obstacles, Jack Ma continued to insist and pursue his dreams until he founded his Alibaba company, making him the richest man in China, according to Forbes magazine.

Jack Ma's personal life

As for the life of Jack Ma, I can tell you that he met his wife when they were studying at Hangzhou Normal School, marrying shortly after graduation in the late 80's.

At first they both worked together as teachers and a little later they became parents of two children (a son and a daughter).

Jack Ma professional career

The career of Jack Ma had many setbacks but he was sure what he wanted to accomplish and firmly believed that doing business on the Internet was the future.

In the mid 90's Jack learned about the existence of the Internet and began to see this new trend in technology as a great business opportunity. 

In 1994, Jack Ma heard about the Internet. In early 1995, he went to the US and with the help of his friends he entered the world of the Internet.

During his first meeting he searched for the word "beer." Although he found information related to beer from many countries, he was surprised to find none from China.

In addition, he tried to find general information about China and again was surprised to find none.

So he and his friend created an ugly website related to China. Within five hours of creating the website, he had received emails from some Chinese who wanted to hear from him. That was when Ma realized that the Internet had something great to offer.

In April 1995, Jack Ma, his wife and a friend were encouraged to create their first venture, asked for $ 20,000 dollars and created their first company.

His company was dedicated to creating websites for companies. He called his company "China Yellow Pages".

In three years, his company had earned 5,000,000 Chinese yuan, which amounted to US $ 800,000.

Jack Ma began designing and developing websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the United States.

He said that “the day we connected to the web, I invited friends and people from television to my house,” and in a very slow telephone connection, “we waited three and a half hours and got half a page….”

We drank, watched television and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved (to the guests of my house) that the Internet existed. ”

At a conference in 2010, Ma revealed that he has never written a line of code or made a sale to a customer.

He acquired a computer for the first time at the age of 33.

The beginning of Alibaba

In 1999 Jack Ma founded Alibaba , without knowing that this would be the beginning of the project that would catapult him to fame. His first steps were small but forceful.

At first, he focused on the B2B (business to business) sector, which would revolutionize the way of doing business with China.

This simple idea grew like a foam when a platform that connected all Chinese companies seeking to sell abroad with foreign companies that wanted to buy Chinese products came into operation.

In addition, it facilitated contact and searches and, more importantly, offered purchase security with creative points and evaluation system for each Chinese company.

This young man from Hangzhou gave the solution to companies to sell abroad, saving costs and above all establishing trust between customer and seller, on a map of doubts in front of Chinese companies for the extensive stories of robberies and scams.

Following this platform, parallel businesses and services emerged that turned your company into a large network group.

Perhaps one of the most important was the Alipay service, which works similarly to Paypal, but designed for the mentality of the Chinese.

Today it has more than 700 million registered users and a record 105 million payments made in 24 hours .

In October 1999 and January 2000, Alibaba twice earned a total of $ 25 million of foreign venture capital investment.

The program was expected to improve the national e-commerce market and perfect an e-commerce platform for Chinese companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to meet the challenges of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system and since 2003 founded Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx.

After the rapid growth of Taobao, eBay offered to buy the company. However, Ma rejected his offer, instead he got the support of Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with an investment of 1,000 million dollars.

In September 2014, it was reported that Alibaba was raising more than $ 25 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) at the New York Stock Exchange.

Alibaba became one of the most valuable technology companies in the world after raising $ 25 billion, the largest initial public offering in the financial history of the United States.

Jack Ma until a few days ago was the executive president of his company Grupo Alibaba, which is a holding company with nine main subsidiaries:, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,, and Alipay.

The creation of Taobao

After the consolidation of Alipay , the creation of another great homerun in China continued, which is Taobao , the most important B2C and C2C portal in China, which uses the same scoring and scoring system that Alibaba offered consumers confidence and taught them To buy online.

It sells more than 800 million products and has an average of 600 million users . Almost the same number of netizens in China.

Taobao is already the tenth most visited page in the world and the third in that country.

Alibaba online commerce

Today, Alibaba is not just an online trading tool. Thanks to a chain of mergers and acquisitions started in 2005.

The value of $ 231,000 million represents a business conglomerate that has an influence in the fields of media, transport logistics, electronic cartography, data analysis and communications.

The company, which it founded together with 17 partners, moves around 80% of China's online commerce.

Its clients range from large international brands to Latin American companies that sell local products such as wool or seafood, or manufactures such as clothing or auto parts.

Currently, the only company that handles a volume of merchandise comparable to Alibaba's is Walmart.

Yahoo sales

Over time, Ma managed to reduce the role of Yahoo! in your company. In September 2012, Yahoo sold almost half of its shares for $ 7.1 million, and today it finally has only 22.6 percent of Alibaba.

According to Matt Levine, Bloomberg columnist, Alibaba could, through share and cash purchases, acquire Yahoo! without paying a single penny, since their expenses would be offset by the investment of Yahoo! in Alibaba.

The Chinese giant would spend some money that it would eventually recover through the purchase. It is an 'open sesame' financial.

In fact, the company seems to do magic: “When I did my first interview with Alibaba in May 2000, there were no more than 50 people working in Ma's apartment,” said Erisman. “A month later there were 150, and when I left the company in 2008, there were about 15,000 workers.

Alibaba currently employs 24,000 people in 70 cities in China, Japan, Korea, Great Britain and the United States.

The company is valued at $ 228,000 million, according to Factset, occupying the 13th position among the most valuable companies in the world.

Jack Ma's strong leadership

Jack Ma understands very well the local Chinese culture and the market situation. He is a person who pays close attention to detail and has strong leadership, which fits very well in the Chinese business environment.

It also has a strong connection with the decision makers in the Chinese government, ”Baniel Cheung, professor of economics at the University of Hong Kong, told EL TIEMPO.

“This has facilitated its rapid development, as it has convinced the government that its mission is to support local businesses in the development of electronic commerce.

Ma understood the need for a Chinese venture that did not have the ability to internationalize and offered them a solution with Alibaba.

Then he understood the gap in domestic electronic commerce in the country and designed a response with Taobao.

Ma has always been one step ahead of the Chinese market and has demonstrated it with all the services of its conglomerate, from online payment systems to microblogs.

Last year he resigned as executive director of Alibaba because he considered himself an "elder." At the age of 48, Ma gave way to young people to run his company.

At that time it was thought that he wanted to pursue something much bigger, and the signals came from June 2012, when he removed the company from the Hong Kong stock exchange. He said he wanted to make it public in New York. That is what he did.

According to Forbes, after the initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange broke all records, Jack Ma's fortune grew to $ 20 billion.

Jack Ma awards, achievements and honors

As is supposed to be Jack Ma a pioneer in e-commerce in China and in much of the world, he has been awarded with countless awards , recognitions and honors in different companies, organizations and countries.

In 2004, China Central Television and its viewers selected Jack Ma as one of the " 10 best business leaders of the year ."

In September 2005, the World Economic Forum selected Ma as " Young Global Leader ".

Fortune magazine also selected him as one of the " 25 most powerful entrepreneurs in Asia ." Businessweek also selected him as " Entrepreneur of the Year " in 2007, and Barron's chose him as one of the 30 " Best General Directors of the World " in 2008.

2009 was a year full of events in Jack's life; secured a place in the list of the magazine 'Time' of ' The 100 most influential people in the world '. The Internet giant also received the " 2009 CCTV Economic Person of the Year ": Leader Entrepreneur of the Decade 'award.

In 2010, Ma was selected by Forbes Asia as one of the Heroes of Asian Philanthropy for his contribution to disaster relief and poverty.

Ma earned an honorary doctorate from the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong in November 2013.

In 2014 he was ranked as the 30th most powerful person in the world in an annual ranking published by Forbes.

At the 'Asian Awards' ceremony held in 2015, he was congratulated with the ' Entrepreneur of the Year ' award.

General data of Jack Ma

Jack Ma height

  • In feet: 4 feet with 11 inches
  • In centimeters: 152 cms
  • In meters: 1.52 m

Jack Ma weight

  • In kilograms: 59kg
  • In pounds: 130 pounds

Jack Ma heritage

Jack Ma currently has a net worth of around 38.5 million dollars

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