Ma served as executive chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries: Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, AliExpress.com, and Alipay. Oct 3, 2014, 02:36 IST. Even after he started Alibaba, he suffered multiple … He began studying English at a young age by conversing with English-speakers at Hangzhou International Hotel. "[64], On 24 September 2014, in an interview with Taobao, Ma attributed the strength of American society to its Christian heritage, and expressed his belief in the importance for China to implement a positive value system, in order to overcome the legacy of the Cultural Revolution. He was sitting in a coffee place in San Francisco and asked the waiter: Do you know who Alibaba is?. As a boy, he did everything he could to learn English. [30], Ma announced on 10 September 2018 that he would step down as executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in the coming year. The greatest failure is giving up. Wisdom is acquired through experience. Jack Ma, The Alibaba CEO Story Jack Ma was the second child in the family Jack and his two siblings and elder brother and a younger sister had a modest upbringing during their childhood. Jack started two failed businesses before Alibaba: Hope … [12] In 2019, Forbes named Ma in its list of "Asia's 2019 Heroes of Philanthropy" for his work supporting underprivileged communities in China, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. Within three years, the company had made 5,000,000 Chinese yuan which at the time was equivalent to US$800,000. In early 1995, he went to the US with his friends, who helped introduce him to the Internet. His zeal to enhance his aptitude and acquire new skills was evident from childhood. From 1998 to 1999, Ma headed an information technology company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. He started off by improving his communication skills and also learned English. New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) The ugly face-off between Chinese President Xi Jinping and billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma is set to deal a big blow to investments in the country. … He had spent almost all of his money on registering the company and had little left for anything else. Numerous analysts reported that Ma sold Alipay to himself below, Ma was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the. In 1988, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and found a job as an English teacher. [28] On 8 September 2017, to celebrate Alibaba's 18th year of establishment, Ma appeared on stage and gave a Michael-Jackson-inspired performance. Building one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies doesn’t require specialized or technical knowledge, genius-level math—or even a business plan. Jack Ma was born in 1964. On 10 May 1995, they registered the domain chinapages.com in the United States. Jack Ma, the founder of the e-commerce empire Alibaba and a stakeholder at Alipay, is the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $38.3 Billion. Given such circumstances, anyone else would have given up on the idea of setting up an internet company in such circumstances. He also tried to search for general information about China and again was surprised to find none. I was studying to be a high school English teacher. Jack Ma, born 10 September 1964, is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. I am also a regular contributor to numerous prestigious European media outlets, including the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in Switzerland, The Daily Telegraph in the UK and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany. Jack Ma and other entrepreneurs prospered under Beijing’s laissez-faire attitude toward the business side of the internet. He performed part of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" at the 2009 Alibaba birthday event while dressed as a heavy metal lead singer. But, much like Bloomberg, the Google founders and so many other successful company founders, Jack Ma did not have a business plan. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, Bill Gates Breaks Down Covid Vaccines Like A High School Science Teacher. On 9 January 2017, Ma met with United States President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, to discuss the potential of 1 million job openings in the following five years through Alibaba's interest in the country. [36], In 2017, Ma made his acting debut with his first kung fu short film Gong Shou Dao. Most MBA graduates are not useful … Unless they come back from their MBA studies and forget what they’ve learned at school, then they will be useful. “We don’t really have a clearly defined business model yet,” he conceded. In October 1999 and January 2000, Alibaba twice won a total of a $25 million foreign venture capital investment. [77][78] During the same year, the company funded the rebuilding of 1,000 houses damaged by the earthquake-hit in Nepal, and raised money for another 9,000. China kicked off an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices at Alibaba Group and summoned affiliate Ant Group to a high-level meeting over financial regulations, escalating scrutiny over the twin pillars of billionaire Jack Ma's internet empire. [31] Ma denied reports that he was forced to step aside by the Chinese government[32] and stated that he wants to focus on philanthropy through his foundation. The biggest problem was that it was not possible to access the internet in his hometown of Hangzhou at that time. Knowledge can be acquired through hard work.”. The English teacher turned internet entrepreneur is the country’s richest person. We had two rooms full of things we bought for no use, all garbage, for the first two weeks—in order to tell people that it works.”, From the outset he thought big and set himself very ambitious goals. In 1999, he quit and returned to Hangzhou with his team to found Alibaba, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site in his apartment with a group of 18 friends. He was an avid reader of Mark Twain and used every opportunity to get better at English. AP Images. "I even went to KFC when it came to my city. The Chinese internet shopping market was valued at over 150 billion USD in the third quarter of 2015. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Are We Ready To Make The Change To Lab-Produced Foods? That's the transformation we are aiming to make. Nearly a decade of entrepreneurial experience tells me these difficult times can’t be evaded or shouldered by others—the entrepreneur must be able to face failure and never give up.”, I was awarded my first doctorate in history in 1986 and my second, this time in sociology, in 2016. All I know about computers is how to send and receive email and browse.”. Many of the people he spoke to were wary. [80][81], Ma was born to a family of limited means. He acquired a computer for the first time at the age of 33.[23]. In 1999, Ma quit his job and went back to Hangzhou to create Alibaba along with 17 friends.In 2006, Ma told the story of how he came up with the name Alibaba. He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. One day he met an Australian family and soon became friends with them. Although he found information related to beer from many countries, he was surprised to find none from China. Shortly after founding his company, he told a journalist: “We don’t want to be number one in China. and Amazon are not perfect models and we’re still trying to figure out what’s best.” Thanks to his charisma, he nevertheless managed to persuade the employee responsible for China at Goldman Sachs to invest $5 million in his company. [17] After graduation, he became a lecturer in English and international trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University. Like Jack Ma, dig in your heels and give every opportunity your best shot. In 2000, I founded my own company, which I established as the market leader in the field of communication consultancy for real estate companies in Germany, with a roster of clients that included Ernst & Young Real Estate, CBRE and Jamestown. So he and his friend created an "ugly" website related to China. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I started my career at the Central Institute for Social Sciences Research at the Free University of Berlin and went on to become department head at one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers, Die Welt. “I was trained to be a high school teacher. However, Ma rejected their offer, instead gathering support from Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with a $1 billion investment. [6] In September 2018, he announced that he would retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work, philanthropy, and environmental causes;[7][8][9][10] the following year, Daniel Zhang succeeded him as executive chairman. Unfortunately, the investors had a hard time understanding Ma’s approach. His very public rebuke is instead a warning Beijing has lost patience with the outsize power of its technology moguls, increasingly perceived as a threat to the political and financial stability President Xi Jinping prizes most. Still, he persevered and eventually managed to get into Teachers’ College—although he admits that it was the least respected university in his city. The company’s office consisted of a single room with a workstation and a very old PC in the middle. Jack Ma Makes Ant Offer to Placate Chinese Regulators Trying to salvage his relationship with regulators in a Nov. 2 meeting, the Chinese billionaire said he was ready to … We want to be number one in the world.” He was so convinced of his future success that he even had a meeting filmed in his modest apartment in February 1999—to document the moment for his company’s later history. Things were by no means easy at first. He entered the Hangzhou Normal University and completed graduation in English. If there is a man who knows the meaning of failure, it is Jack Ma. Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system and from 2003 he founded Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx. The psychology of success and wealth and the power of capitalism. In 2013, he became chairman of the board for The Nature Conservancy's China Program; this was one day after he stepped down from Alibaba as company CEO. He is the Executive Chairman and founder of Alibaba Group and is among the top Chinese entrepreneurs. This is how to become successful in life. [3], Ma is a global ambassador for Chinese business and is often listed as one of the world's most powerful people, with Forbes ranking him 21st on its "World's Most Powerful People" list. [37][38][39], Ma is a follower of both Buddhism and Taoism. Jack Ma, who first started as a website designer and then went into business-to-business e-commerce, continued to develop his business in new directions. I’m running one of the biggest e-commerce companies in China, maybe in the world, but I know nothing about computers. So what does it take? [79], In September 2018 Ma started the Jack Ma Foundation and announced that he would retire from Alibaba to pursue educational work, philanthropy, and environmental causes. [25] Alibaba became one of the most valuable technology companies in the world after raising the full $25 billion, the largest initial public offering in US financial history. Jack Ma's Alibaba investigated over alleged anti-monopolistic practices, while Ant Group is being urged to implement stricter financial regulations. But Jack Ma was different. I was the only guy...".[19]. My books on the psychology of success and wealth have been translated into a host of languages and have enjoyed notable success in China, India and South Korea. Twenty-three were accepted. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Jack Ma Achievements. [82][83][84], China International Electronic Commerce Center, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Alibaba Hong Kong Young Entrepreneurs Foundation, "Alibaba's Jack Ma is a Communist Party member, China state paper reveals", "China will struggle to produce another Jack Ma", "How Jack Ma became the role model for startup generation", "Jack Ma Outlines Bold Vision For His Philanthropy Foundation", "China's richest man Jack Ma to stand down from Alibaba", "Billionaire Jack Ma prepares for life after Alibaba. In 2014, he was ranked as the 30th-most-powerful person in the world in an annual ranking published by. [76], In 2015, Alibaba launched a non-profit organization, Alibaba Hong Kong Young Entrepreneurs Foundation, which supports Hong Kong entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses. Over the next few years, Ma repeatedly changed his business model—combining experimentation with perseverance. Here’s the story of Jack Ma, the richest man in China and, with about $35 billion in assets, one of the richest people in the world. At a time when several foreign companies are looking at diversifying their supply sources by relocating their manufacturing facilities outside China, this recent development could lead to further uncertainties for … [66][67][68], Ma received international criticism after he publicly endorsed the Chinese work practice known as the 996 working hour system. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy. "We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. He also claims to have applied ten times to Harvard Business School and got rejected each time. [75] In 2009 Jack Ma became a trustee of The Nature Conservancy's China program, and in 2010 he joined the global Board of Directors of the organization. He founded Alibaba, the … [11], As of July 2020, with a net worth of $48.2 billion, Ma is the second-wealthiest person in China (after Ma Huateng), as well as one of the wealthiest people in the world, ranked 20th by Forbes. Aged 12, he had an idea of how he could improve his English skills: Every morning at five o’clock he rode his bicycle for 40 minutes to an international hotel in his hometown and waited there for tourists. 3", "Jack Ma: The man leading the Chinese e-commerce market", "IPO launch of Alibaba pushed back by a week", "Company news; Brown-Forman will become 100% owner of Finlandia", "Private companies have put down strong roots in China", "Alibaba job boom: Jack Ma chats with Trump about how to create 1 million US jobs over 5 years", "Watch Jack Ma pull off his best Michael Jackson dance moves at the Alibaba birthday celebration", "Li Ka-shing, Jack Ma Join Forces to Bring Digital Wallet to Hong Kong", "Timing of Jack Ma's retirement minimizes risk for Alibaba", "Alibaba's Jack Ma Denies Beijing Forced Him Out", "Jack Ma officially retires as Alibaba's chairman", "In pictures: Jack Ma, Alibaba's rock star founder, bows out", "China's President Xi Jinping Personally Scuttled Jack Ma's Ant IPO", "Jack Ma is using Singles Day, a symbol of crass commercialism, to revitalize Tai Chi in China", "This could well be the oddest video you'll see this week", "Billionaire Alibaba CEO Jack Ma sings at surprise music festival appearance", "Alibaba.com: A Smiling Community with a Dream", "The Best Leaders of 2007 - BusinessWeek", "Jack Ma: The World's 100 Most Influential People", "Alibaba Group Clarification with Respect to Alipay Status and Related Statements by Yahoo! 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