For multiple reasons, the internet is head and shoulders above every other thing in the world as the greatest invention of mankind. Not only has it revolutionized the way people communicate and get information, but it is also slowly becoming the go-to place for commerce. One person who has been able to capitalize on the e-commerce boom of the 21st century is Chinese business leader Jack Ma, the co-founder of the multinational technology conglomerate, Alibaba Group.
Ma has enjoyed huge success as a result of his endeavors with the internet. As a result of this, he has for many years been listed as the richest man in China, and one of the wealthiest in the world, prompting many to want to know what exactly he did to attain such status.
What Jack Ma Did Before Creating Alibaba Group
Jack Ma, whose birth name is Ma Yun, was welcomed to the world on the 10th of September, 1964, in the Hangzhou city of China’s Zhejiang Province. He was born to parents Ma Latifa and Cui Wencai who raised him in poverty alongside his two siblings; an elder brother and a younger sister.
To help his parents where he could, Jack was able to capitalize on the fact that many tourists visited his home town and stayed at the Hangzhou International Hotel. From about nine years of age, he started giving tours of the area to the tourists. Interacting with these foreigners gave him the chance to practice and get better in English, which he certainly did.
Later on in life, Jack Ma enrolled at the Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute (now Hangzhou Normal University) to study English. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree before becoming an English and International Trade lecturer at Hangzhou Dianzi University.
How He Founded the World’s Largest E-Commerce Company
In 1995, Jack Ma visited the United States where he was introduced to the internet which was still in its nascent stage. While using it, he found that information about his home country was not available. This prompted him to create a website about China which to his surprise, attracted many investors that wanted to know more about him.
In April 1995, Jack and a computer teacher named He Yibing launched the company China Pages. They registered the domain chinapages.com in the United States and were able to make as much as 5,000,000 Chinese Yuan (about US$800,000) in less than three years of existence. During that time, he also began helping Chinese companies to build websites with the aid of his friends in the US.
In 1998, Jack was put in charge of a Chinese government-established information technology company. He held the role for a year before quitting to return to his hometown where he co-founded a business-to-business marketplace website called Alibaba with the help of a group of 18 friends.
Alibaba, whose major subsidiaries today include Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, AliExpress.com, Alipay, Tmall, eTao, and Alibaba Cloud Computing among others, has grown into a multinational conglomerate that provides not just business-to-business services but also consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales services via web portals. Jack Ma oversaw the company’s growth as he served as the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a position he retired from in 2008.
What Jack Ma Does With His Wealth
In early 2020, Jack Ma was reported to have a net worth of over $44 billion, a fortune he made from his time at the helm of Alibaba Group. Thanks to this, the billionaire has been able to enjoy some of the finest things that life has to offer. This includes him owning choice properties around the world among other things. One of his most notable properties is his Hong Kong home that was once considered to be the most expensive in Asia.
But while enjoying life’s finer things, Jack has also used his wealth to make an impact on the life of others by engaging in philanthropy. He is the founder of the Jack Ma Foundation which focuses on providing better education, improving the quality of health care services that are available to the public, and making the environment better. For his work in this regard, Forbes added him to the 2019 list of Heroes of Philanthropy from Asia.
The Alibaba co-founder is also known for his attitude of investing, which he mostly does through his venture capital firm, Yunfeng. Through Yunfeng, he has invested in healthcare, energy, mass media, and insurance.
Facts About His Family
Jack Ma met his future wife Zhang Ying while attending Hangzhou Normal University. The couple got married in 1988, the same year he graduated from the institution. While not much is known about her, Ying is said to have been a pivotal part of her husband’s success and growth in life.
The couple has gone on to welcome three children to the world. The first is a son named Ma Yuankun who was born in 1992 and is popularly referred to as Jerry Ma. He is reported to be a graduate of Berkeley University in California. Jack’s second child is a daughter named Ma Yuanbao. Not much is known about her to the public as well as the identity of his third child.