Birth Year: 1964
Country of birth:
Hangzhou Teacher's School, Bachelor degree in English
Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, where he learned English by talking with the English-speaking tourists who were staying at the Hangzhou International Hotel. He pedaled several kilometers there to give tourists tours in the area while he practiced English. That was when he adopted the name “Jack.” He became a penpal of one of the tourists, who nicknamed “Jack” because his Chinese name was difficult for him to pronounce.
Jack Ma’s youth was full of failures. He had trouble entering college. The exams were offered once a year, and it took Ma four years to pass. Ma studied at the Hangzhou School of Teachers, where he graduated. After graduation, he entered Hangzhou Dianzi University, where he took business courses. He also tried to enter Harvard Business School several times, where he was rejected. He also tried to enter several jobs, where he was rejected.
Jack Ma first heard about the Internet in 1994 when, in the United States, his friends introduce it to him. He was surprised that although he could find information about beer from many countries, there was nothing about China. Also, when looking for general information about China, Jack Ma could not find anything. Then, he and another friend created an unattractive site about China. Even so, soon they received emails from Chinese investors wanting to know more about it
In April 1995, Jack Ma and his partner He Yibing opened their Chinese website business and registered the Chinapages.com domain in the United States. With the help of his friends in the United States, Ma created websites of Chinese companies.
From 1998 to 1999, Ma was the director of an IT company at the China International Electronic Commerce Center. In 1999, Ma quit his job and moved to Hangzhou to found the Chinese B2B Alibaba marketplace.
In a few months, Alibaba obtained an investment of $ 25 million from foreign venture capital. The company’s first objective was to improve Chinese e-commerce and perfect an e-commerce platform for Chinese companies, especially small businesses.
In 2003, intending to improve the global e-commerce system, Ma founded Taobao, Alipay, Ali Mama, and Lynx. In September 2014, Alibaba became a public company on the New York Stock Exchange, with an initial offer of $ 25 billion, one of the largest in the financial history of the United States.
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Jack Ma has received several awards, such as being named one of the ten economic personalities of the year by Chinese television in 2004. In 2005, the World Economic Forum named him as “Young Global Leaders,” while Fortune magazine considered him as one of the 25 most influential businessmen in Asia.
Jack Ma also usually performs philanthropic works. For these actions, he has received awards such as “Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy” by Forbes Asia for his contributions to fighting poverty.