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Ma Yun, otherwise known as Jack Ma, is the founder and executive chairman of the world renowned Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce group of companies operating on web portals. He is considered one of the richest men in China, one of the wealthiest people in Asia with a net worth of US$46 billion in 2017. He is one of the most influential people in business and ranked 2nd in Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list in 2017. He is a philanthropist and has been giving numerous lectures and advices in business and entrepreneurship.

How the Internet made Jack Ma successful and the birth of Alibaba

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Ma Yun, otherwise known as Jack Ma, is the founder and executive chairman of the world renowned Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce group of companies operating on web portals. He is considered one of the richest men in China, one of the wealthiest people in Asia with a net worth of US$46 billion in 2017. He is one of the most influential people in business and ranked 2nd in Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list in 2017. He is a philanthropist and has been giving numerous lectures and advices in business and entrepreneurship.
Ma was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on September 10, 1964. He started learning English at a young age and conversed with English-speakers at Hangzhou International Hotel. He would give free city tours to guests around the city for nine years just to improve his English speaking skills. He had a pen pal who nicknamed him “Jack” because his Chinese name is hard for him to pronounce.
Ma had struggled to attend college. It took him 4 years to pass the Chinese entrance exams which was only held once a year. After passing, he attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute (Hangzhou Normal University) and finished B.A. in English in 1988. He was head of the student council while attending college and after graduation he became an English lecturer at Hangzhou Dianzi University. He pursued further studies at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing and graduated in 2006.
He got married to Zhang Ying in the late 80’s and had a son and a daughter. According to his assistant, Ma is into studying Chinese Martial Arts. He practiced Chen-Style Tai Chi Chuan in Hangzhou sometime in 2009 with Wáng Xī’an, well-known as martial arts teacher. Wang, Jet Li and Ma were teaching regular classes in Alilaba and attendance was mandatory. According to Ma’s assistant, he would rather be remembered as a Tai Chi master than a founder of Alibaba.
It was known by many that Jack Ma applied a total of 30 different jobs and got rejected. He went to apply as a police and they said he was no good; to KFC when it first opened in China and where 24 people applied, 23 were hired except him. He applied 10 times to Harvard and was also rejected His success story started when he heard about the internet in 1994. He went to the US with his friends who introduced him to the World Wide Web in early 1995. During his first experience with the internet, he search for the word “beer”. He found the information he needed but he found nothing from China. He later search for general information about China and to his surprise, he found nothing. So he created an “ugly” website related to China together with his friends. He launched the website at 9:40 AM and around 12:30 PM he received emails from some Chinese who wanted to know about him. This was the moment he realized that the internet has a lot of great offers in store for him. In April 1995,
he and his wife and friends went around to collect and ask for USD20,000 as initial capital to start their own company. They were creating websites for other companies. He named it “China Yellow Pages”. He began creating websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. In 3 years, the company made USD800,000. His experience of the “day they got connected to the internet” was like this: he invited his friends and TV people to his house and with a very slow dial-up connection, they got half a page for more than 3 hours. He was so proud because then he proved to everyone in the house that the internet does exist.
Ma managed an information technology company by the China International Electronic Commerce Center from 1998-1999. In 1999 he returned to Hangzhou and quit at the previous company, to start Alibaba, a china-based e-commerce marketplace site, in his apartment together with 18 of his friends. He started this venture with 500,000 Yuan.
Alibaba won a total of $25 million foreign capital investment twice: in October 1999 and January 2000. Alibaba was expected to improve the domestic e-commerce market for Chinese small and medium enterprises to address World Trade Organization challenges. Ma also created Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx. Some other subsidiaries are eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, AliExpress.com, Tmall. In September 2014, Alibaba was raising over $25 billion in the New York Stock Exchange in an initial public offering, the largest initial public offering in history of the US Financial. It became one of the most valuable tech companies in the world and it still is now.
Failure is not really the end of the story. For Jack Ma, it was an inspiration to continue reaching one’s goal. Some of those experiences can teach you life’s greatest lessons. But in the middle of all the failures you encounter, one must never stop pursuing his dream.

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