Jack Ma

Jack Ma Yun is a Chinese business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and the co-founder of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate.
Summary

Jack Ma Yun is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. In addition, Ma is also the co-founder of Yunfeng Capital, a Chinese private equity firm. As of June 2023, with a net worth of $34.5 billion, Ma is the fourth-wealthiest person in China (after Zhong Shanshan, Zhang Yiming and Ma Huateng), as well as the 39th wealthiest person in the world, ranked by Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Ma earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English upon graduating from Hangzhou Normal University in 1988. He became an English lecturer and international trade lecturer at Hangzhou Dianzi University following graduation. Later taking an interest in the emergence of the internet business, he established his first business in 1994, only to end up forming a second company after learning more about the internet and the commercial business possibilities that could be potentially exploited from its emerging growth. From 1998 to 1999, he led an information technology company founded by the Chinese government, later leaving it to start the Alibaba Group with his colleagues in 1999. The company was initially founded as B2B e-commerce marketplace website, yet the company later expanded into a wide range of industry domains across the Chinese economy, including e-commerce, high-technology, and online payment solutions.

In 2017, Ma was ranked second in the annual "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" list by Fortune. He has widely been considered as an informal global ambassador in Chinese business circles and has continued to remain an influential figure in the Chinese business community and scene of startup companies. In September 2018, he announced that he would retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work, philanthropy, and environmental causes. 

In 2019, Forbes Magazine named Ma in its list of "Asia's 2019 Heroes of Philanthropy" for his humanitarian and philanthropic work supporting underprivileged communities in China, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. In April 2021, Jack Ma ranked 26th in the "2021 Forbes Global Rich List" with a fortune of $48.4 billion USD.

Biography

Jack Ma was born Ma Yun on September 10, 1964, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. From a young age, Ma showed a fascination with English and cultivated his language skills through interactions with English speakers at the Hangzhou International Hotel. Despite facing challenges, including academic struggles, Ma's determination led him to Hangzhou Normal University, where he excelled academically and became actively involved in student leadership.

After graduation in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Ma encountered initial job rejections before embracing the potential of the internet. He co-founded Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency in 1994, which eventually evolved into his first internet venture, China Pages. This marked the start of his journey in the high-technology industry.

In 1999, Ma's vision led to the establishment of Alibaba, a business-to-business marketplace that quickly became a cornerstone of China's burgeoning e-commerce landscape. Under his leadership, Alibaba Group expanded to encompass a diverse range of subsidiaries, including Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, and Alipay, among others.

Despite his innovative success, his public appearances became sparse between 2020 and 2021, raising concerns about his well-being and freedom. However, he re-emerged in early 2021 and was later seen teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Tokyo, showcasing his dedication to education and research.

Ma's impact extends beyond business. His philanthropic pursuits include supporting environmental initiatives and rural education. Notably, he is the founder of the Jack Ma Foundation, dedicated to fostering educational and social development.

Moreover, Ma's unique presence isn't confined to the business world. In 2017, he made his acting debut in a kung fu short film and even ventured into the world of entertainment.


Vision

ack Ma's vision is rooted in the belief that technology can be harnessed to create opportunities and improve lives on a global scale. He envisions a future where digital innovation empowers individuals, businesses, and societies, fostering a more inclusive and interconnected world. Through his initiatives, Ma aims to bridge gaps in education, stimulate entrepreneurship, and drive sustainable development, striving to uplift underserved communities and inspire the next generation of leaders.

Ma's vision goes beyond profit-driven endeavors, emphasizing the importance of responsible business practices, environmental stewardship, and social impact. He envisions a harmonious coexistence between humans and technology, where the digital landscape serves as a catalyst for positive change. By fostering innovation, nurturing talent, and leveraging the transformative potential of technology, Ma envisions a future characterized by equal opportunities, improved education, and sustainable progress, leaving a legacy that transcends borders and shapes a better world for all.


Recognition and Awards
Jack's journey of achievements begins with being named one of the "Top 10 Economic Personalities of the Year" by China Central Television (CCTV) in 2004. In 2005, the World Economic Forum recognized Ma's potential by selecting him as a "Young Global Leader", underscoring his capacity to drive change on a global scale. The following year, Fortune magazine highlighted his influence by including him in the list of the "25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia". Businessweek further cemented his status by naming him a "Businessperson of the Year" in 2007, acknowledging his strategic acumen and innovative spirit. His excellence in leadership was evident when Barron's featured him as one of the "World's Best CEOs" in 2008. In 2009, Time magazine recognized Ma's achievements by listing him as one of the world's 100 most powerful people. His entrepreneurial prowess led to his inclusion in Forbes China's Top 10 Most Respected Entrepreneurs. Ma's commitment to philanthropy and societal impact garnered attention when he was selected by Forbes Asia as one of Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy in 2010. Jack received an honorary doctoral degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2013, and also became a trustee and chairman of the board for The Nature Conservancy's China Program. He was ranked as the 30th-most-powerful person in the world by Forbes in 2014, and was also honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Asian Award in 2015. Jack received the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour in 2016, followed by being ranked second on Fortune's World's 50 Greatest Leaders list in 2017. Ma was appointed by the United Nations as an advocate for sustainable development goals in 2019. His contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic were acknowledged with a first-class medal from King Abdullah II and the Hilal e Quaid e Azam medal from the President of Pakistan in 2020.

References

 

Jack Ma
Nationality
Chinese
Residence
China
Occupation
Businessman, investor, philanthropist, actor, political activist
Companies
Known for
Alibaba Group (Co-founder), Yunfeng Capital (Co-founder), Jack Ma Foundation (Founder)
Accolades
Top 10 Economic Personalities of the Year (China Central Television, 2004), 25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia (Fortune, 2005), Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy (Forbes Asia, 2010), honorary doctoral degree (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, November 2013), honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Technopreneurship (De La Salle University Manila, Philippines, 2017), New advocates for sustainable development goals (Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2019)
Education
Bachelor of Arts (English, Hangzhou Normal University)
Social Media
Fri Feb 23 2024
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