Jack Ma – The Founder of Alibaba Group

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Lately, this billionaire’s name has been echoed so frequently in everywhere (particularly, among the business people). A Chinese entrepreneur with a steel mentality who hardly fails to attract public’s attention. So, who exactly is this man and how has his story been as successful and famous as of today? Well, let's have a look at his written biography below!

To start with the above subject, Jack Ma is by profile a well-known Chinese businessman who established the group company called Alibaba. In 2015, Jack Ma entered the Forbes business media and earned himself a title The World’s Influential Billionaire. His business masterpiece (the Alibaba Group) is a giant conglomerate e-commerce company based in Hong Kong, and has acquired many other related business ventures across the globe.

Jack Ma’s actual real name is Ma Yun. He was born on October 15, 1964 in Hangzhou located in the southeastern region of China. Jack Ma has a brother and a younger sister. He and his brothers grew up when communists in China were very isolated from the western world and at that time, his family was in a severe financial deprivation.

In 1972, President Nixon visited Hangzhou. Since then, Ma's hometown became the mecca of tourists. As a creative teenager with an unyielding business spirit, he ran his everyday life by getting up early in the morning to visit the main hotel in his city. He purposely offered a tour guide service for foreigners with English tuition fees. The nickname "Jack" at this stage was eventually attached to him – it was a token of appreciation given by one of the foreigners who later became his close friend.

Unlike the other privileged children from upper class family, the only way Ma could strive ahead without money or connections is through the pursuit of his education. So, after completing his high school, he applied for a college enrollment but he failed the college entry test twice. Then, after spending a rigorous period of exam preparatory study, he finally passed the test. Subsequently, by the time when he graduated from Hangzhou Teachers Institute in 1988, he began to commence his first career endeavor by applying as many jobs as possible.

Unfortunately, life as we know is full of obstacles and hardships. He apparently had to accept more than dozens of rejections, including from the local KFC restaurant in his city. However, he was eventually hired as an English teacher, and he happened to be a natural educator where he found himself being adored by many of his students and he himself really loved his job as a language instructor, even though his salary was relatively small at that time (by the way, he only received $12 a monthly income at a local university where he worked as an English teacher). 

Meanwhile, Ma actually had no particular experiences with computers or even coding, but he was very keen in using the internet for the first time during a trip to America in 1995. He had just started the translation business and commuted quite often to help a Chinese company that he was working with.

Ma's first online search was the word "beer" and he was very shocked the moment when he discovered that no Chinese beer appeared on the search engine back then. So, that was actually the turning point where he decided to set up an internet company on behalf of representing his country (China). Shortly after the internet service began to boom and capture many users’ attention from all over the world, Ma's company managed to collect $5 million from Goldman Sachs and also $20 million from SoftBank in October, 1999. For your information, SoftBank was a Japanese telecommunication company which would rather opt to invest in technology companies.

Following years of his group company's venture in the early 1990s, Yahoo in 2005 decided to follow the same opt-in path by putting 1 billion dollars investment for Alibaba; resulting an estimated 40% of the Yahoo's shares ownership in the company. The amount of equity injected at that point was incredibly substantial and really came in handy to assist Alibaba competing against eBay in China market. As the decision for Yahoo to invest  in Alibaba turned out to be a successful move, the company eventually managed to collect another staggering amount of 10 billion dollars equity during its IPO, thus, making the group company officially went public on September 19th 2014.

"Today, we get not money. What we get is people’s trust to work with us", said Jack Ma when he was being interviewed by one of the CNBC journalists. The $150 billion IPO was perhaps the biggest offer ever registered throughout the history of the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) when Alibaba Group was listed in United States. And this is something that elevates this former English teacher's eminent profile to be among the top-listed conglomerate entrepreneurs with an estimated personal net worth $25 billion.

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