Jack Ma Yun is a Chinese investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He co-founded Alibaba Group. Alibaba is a multinational online platform that sells wholesale products to other businesses. He is the former executive chairman of Alibaba group. Moreover, Jack Ma co-founded Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm.
Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. Ma was born to a family of limited means. His parents were musicians and sometimes storytellers. He studied in English. In fact, Jack Ma would ride 27 kilometers. That is equivalent to around 17 miles. He rode on his bicycle to give tourists tours of the area to practice his English for about 9 years.
Jack Ma’s educational background
In addition to that, Jack Ma struggled to attend college. He failed his entrance exam for the Hangzhou Teachers College twice. Mathematics was his weakness. Entrance exams were held once a year. Therefore, jack Ma took 3 years to pass his entrance exams. Later on, Ma attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute. At the moment, the institute is known as Hangzhou Normal University. At university, he met Zhang Ying also known as Cathy Zhang.
In 1988, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Jack Ma was head of the student council at school. Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang married shortly after graduation in 1988. Moreover so, after graduation, he became a lecturer in English and international trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University. Cathy joined the university as a Chinese teacher. As a matter of fact, Jack claims to have applied ten times to Harvard Business School and got rejected each time.
Ma’s early career
After Jack ma graduated from Hangzhou Normal University he applied for 30 different odd jobs. He was rejected by every single one of them. During an interview with Charlie Rose, Jack Ma said that he went for a job with the police and they told him that he is no good. In fact, he even tried for a job at KFC when it had come to his city. Apparently, 24 four for the job. 23 of them got accepted and only Jack Ma was rejected. During this period, China was in its first decade of Deng Xiaoping’s Chinese economic reform.
Jack Ma on the internet
Jack Ma heard about the internet in 1994. He initiated his first company called the Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency. In early 1995, he went to the US on behalf of the municipal government with colleagues who had helped introduce him to the Internet. Jack Ma discovered something interesting during this journey. He found information related to beer from many countries. However, he was surprised to find non from China. Ma attempted to gain general information about China and was shocked to find none. Therefore, his friend and he created an “ugly” website related to China.
On the 10th of May 1995, Jack Ma and his partner registered the domain chinapages.com in the United States. Within three years, the company had made 5,000,000 Renminbi which at the time was equivalent to US$800,000. Furthermore, Jack began building websites for Chinese companies. His American friends helped him.
Later on, Jack Ma began building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. He said that the day they got connected to the Web he invited friends and TV people to his house. Moreover, they waited for almost three and a half house and got half a page.
Furthermore, at a conference in 2010, Jack Ma revealed that he has never actually written a line of code nor made one sale to a customer. He acquired a computer for the first time at the age of 33.
Initiation of Alibaba
Jack Ma established an information technology company from 1998 to 1999 by the China International Electronic Commerce Centre (CIECC). CIECC is a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. Later on, in 1999, Jack ma quit. He returned to Hangzhou with his team to found Alibaba, a China-based business-to-business marketplace. He formed it in his apartment with a group of 18 friends. Jack Ma began a new round of venture development with 500,000 yuan.
In addition to that, in October 1999 and January 2000, Alibaba won a total of $25 million foreign venture capital investment from Softbank and Goldman Sachs. In fact, the program was intended to improve the domestic e-commerce market. Jack Ma intended to build a perfect e-commerce platform for Chinese enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Successfully, Jack Ma addressed World Trade Organisation (WTO) challenges through this innovation.
Furthermore, Alibaba became profitable three years later. Jack Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system. Therefore, from 2003 he founded Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama, and Lynx. After the rapid rise of Taobao, eBay offered to purchase the company. However, Ma rejected their offer, instead of gathering support from Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with a $1 billion investment.
In November 2012, Alibaba’s online transaction volume exceeded one trillion yuan. Furthermore, in 2014 Alibaba raised over $25 billion by initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. In fact, by that time, Alibaba became one of the most valuable technology companies in the world after raising the full $25 billion, the largest initial public offering in the United States financial history.
After that, Jack Ma served as executive chairman of Alibaba Group. The Alibaba Group helps 9 major subsidiaries; eTao, AliExpress.com, Alipay, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Taobao Marketplace, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, and Alibaba.com.
As of 2016, Jack Ma owned the Château de Sours in Bordeaux, Chateau Guerry in Côtes de Bourg and Château Perenne in Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux.
Jack Ma met Donald Trump
Jack Ma met with the United States President-elect Donald Trump at the Trump Tower on the 9th of January 2017. They discussed the potential of 1 million job openings in the following five years through Alibaba’s business interests in the United States of America.
Alibaba’s 18th birthday
Later on the 8th of September 2017, Jack Ma celebrated the birthday of Alibaba by appearing on stage and giving a Michael Jackson-inspired performance. He performed part of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” at the 2009 Alibaba birthday event while dressed as a heavy metal lead singer. In fact, in the same month, Ma also partnered with Sir Li Ka-Shing in a joint venture to offer a digital wallet service in Hong Kong.
Jack Ma steps down from CEO post
On the 10th of September 2018, Jack Ma announced that he would step down as executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in the coming year. Jack Ma denied reports that he was forced to step aside by the Chinese government. In addition to that, he stated that he wants to focus on philanthropy through his foundation. He turned the position over to Daniel Zhang who led Alibaba as the executive chairman. Ma officially stepped down from the board of Alibaba on September 30, 2019.
Jack Ma disappears from the public eye
In October 2020 new outlets noted Jack Ma’s lack of appearances. Moreover so, The Financial Times reported that the disappearance may have been connected to a speech given at the annual People’s Bank of China financial markets forum. During the speech, Jack Ma criticized China’s regulators and banks.
In November 2020, the Financial Times reported the abrupt cancellation of the Ant Group’s anticipated Initial public offering (IPO) after an intervention by financial regulators. According to Chinese bankers and officials, financial stability was the objective behind the intervention.
In addition to that, some commentators speculated that Jack Ma may have been a victim of forced disappearance while others speculated that he could be voluntarily lying low. Jack Ma made a public appearance again on 20 January 2021, speaking via video link to a group of rural teachers at a charitable event, the annual Rural Teacher Initiative. In February 2021, he was seen golfing at the Sun Valley Golf Resort on the Chinese island of Hainan.
Ma’s Entertainment career
Jack Ma made an acting debut in 2017 in his first kung fu short film Gong Shou Dao. It was filmed in collaboration with the Double 11 Shopping Carnival Singles’ Day. In the same year, he also participated in a singing festival and performed dances during Alibaba’s 18th-anniversary party.
In November 2020, in the finale of Africa’s Business Heroes, Ma was replaced as a judge in the television show, with Alibaba executive Peng Lei taking his place, reportedly “Due to a schedule conflict”.
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