Jack Ma – A Biography
Jack Ma is an internationally acclaimed business magnate renowned for his contributions to China’s economic transformation. However, as a tycoon he has come under close public scrutiny – particularly due to his support of 996 work practices.
Ma was born in 1964 to two siblings and struggled to pass college entrance exams twice before being rejected from Harvard Business School 10 times. Undeterred, he continued with a translation business that eventually brought him to America where he discovered the Internet.
He was born in 1964
Ma, born and raised in Hangzhou in China’s Zhejiang province, came from a middle-class family. From an early age he learned English; riding 27 kilometers daily on his bicycle to give tourists tours around Hangzhou for practice – foreigners had difficulty pronouncing his Chinese name, so foreigners began calling him by its American counterpart: Jack. While struggling in school and twice failing entrance exams to Hangzhou Teachers College twice before ultimately succeeding and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree. Following that Ma taught English before opening his own translation agency: Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency which began operations in 1994.
Ma has long been known for his hard work ethic and perseverance to succeed in his career. As such, he is seen as a role model by entrepreneurs as an example of working hard and staying determined in life. Additionally, Ma is involved with various charities and environmental protection groups through active support of them all.
Ma enjoys spending his free time playing basketball and tennis. Additionally, he enjoys reading books and watching movies. Ma is married and has two children; his wife provides support in all his business-related ventures.
Ma is a prominent figure in the tech industry and has made headlines for his open-minded views toward both US and global trade. In January 2017, he met with President Donald Trump to avoid any trade war, and believes that both countries need to work together towards building a prosperous future for themselves.
Ma has garnered international acclaim for his philanthropy efforts, specifically his support of education in China. In 2005, he established the Jack Ma Foundation and since has given over $10 million to disadvantaged students through this means. Furthermore, over 100 projects in health and nutrition areas were funded with this foundation as well as several initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship throughout China. Ma himself remains active within these circles by being an active member of both World Economic Forum and The Nature Conservancy as trustee.
He got his first computer when he was 33
Ma was born in Hangzhou, China on September 10, 1964 to parents without money who struggled financially as children. While still young he became interested in English and eventually offered tours of Hangzhou to foreign tourists; later becoming one of China’s most successful businesspeople.
Ma, aged 33, received his first computer and it dramatically altered his life. It ushered in his internet career and inspired him to start a translation company; today, Ma is widely considered one of the wealthiest individuals and founder of Alibaba, an e-commerce firm valued at $410 billion.
Ma is known for his passionate dedication to education, regularly visiting schools and universities to speak on its importance, including being rejected from Harvard 10 times! Additionally, as a former teacher – which was his 55th birthday! – this decision to retire on Teachers’ Day coincided with that milestone milestone birthday is also symbolic.
He is well known for being outspoken and unconventional compared to what might be expected from a tech CEO, dressing up like Michael Jackson for Alibaba’s 18th birthday and being an avid dog lover.
Ma is known for his online business ventures as well as his charitable endeavors; his foundation’s focus includes improving education, the environment and public health. Ma has met several notable individuals such as President Barack Obama; moreover he recently spoke at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit about global warming and entrepreneurship.
Ma’s story of becoming one of the world’s richest men is captivating. Born into an underground family of ping tan artists, he worked tirelessly to advance his education and earn a college degree. After twice failing the Chinese university entrance exam twice more, he finally gained acceptance at Hangzhou Teachers College where he studied English and international trade before graduating in 1988 and teaching briefly at local universities.
Ma was introduced to the internet in 1995 by an American friend, and quickly set up an online translation service. Although internet use wasn’t widespread at that time, Ma recognized its potential and quickly saw his business expand; soon enough he became one of Asia’s richest people.
He is the founder of Alibaba
Jack Ma is the creator and leader of Alibaba Group, an e-commerce giant which has revolutionized China and made him one of the wealthiest people on Earth. Former English teacher Ma co-founded Alibaba in 1999 with partners that now control some of the largest e-commerce businesses on earth; currently the site boasts over 800 million users globally and ranks number one online shopping website in China. Ma is also an investor and mentor to entrepreneurs all around the globe.
Ma is known for combining technology with traditional Chinese values into his business style, believing strongly in the potential of the Internet and encouraging employees to explore innovative ideas. He is well known for investing in various other companies as well as for his humor – once appearing at an annual employee meeting dressed up as a clown with wild hair and lipstick and performing an inspirational song about working together!
Ma had a humble upbringing and believes the three most essential things in life are family, health and education. Both his parents were farmers; to help pay for schooling he worked as a tour guide in Hangzhou for tourists visiting Hangzhou Teachers College (now Hangzhou Normal University). There he met his wife Cathy Zhang whom he married shortly thereafter in 1988 and they have since had two children together.
Ma enjoys spending his free time with his family and friends. He is an avid supporter of music – having started to play piano when he was only three – as well as supporting arts organizations by making donations to museums around China.
He is deeply committed to protecting the planet and has spoken at several events about doing his part to preserve it. Additionally, he serves on the board of The Nature Conservancy and funded a 27,000-acre wildlife reserve in China.
Ma is currently the co-chairman of Alibaba and holds a minority stake in Alipay. He pledged to dilution his ownership in Ant Financial before its IPO and intends to dedicate his retirement years towards philanthropy and rural education initiatives.
He is the richest Asian
As a self-made millionaire, Jack Ma has long recognized the significance of giving back to the community. He has donated billions to charities and social initiatives – such as providing free education to children. For his generosity he has received various honors, such as Forbes naming him one of Asia’s “Heroes of Philanthropy”.
Ma was born in Hangzhou, China – now widely recognized as an epicenter of high tech innovation and entrepreneurialism – to traditional musicians and storytellers relying solely on their craft for survival. From an early age Ma began learning English; providing free guided tours for tourists visiting his city; practicing by conversing with visitors from America as well as listening to Voice of America broadcasts; practicing his English by offering guided tours for free; practicing his English further by conversing with visitors from America as well as listening to Voice of America broadcasts; finally becoming successful as an entrepreneur by founding Alibaba Group one of the world’s leading online commerce companies at just 27.
Ma and his friend established China Pages as the inaugural website related to China in 1995 and within three years had earned 5,000,000 Chinese yuan, or US $ 800,000. He soon realized how revolutionary Internet could be; thus leading him to establish various businesses such as Taobao Marketplace, Ali Mama and Alipay – all part of today’s global e-commerce network.
Ma has maintained an extremely private personal life despite his immense wealth. He married Zhang Ying, whom he met through teaching, and they have two children together. Ma has spoken about maintaining a balanced work-life balance as well as the necessity of family stability in his talks and interviews.
Ma has expanded his interests beyond real estate by diversifying into other fields such as real estate investment. He owns multiple luxury properties worldwide, such as Chateau de Sours in Bordeaux and Chateau Guerry in Blaye, Cotes de Bourg (both France) as well as land in Adirondacks that he hopes to use for environmental preservation purposes. Furthermore, during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in America and other Asian and African nations, Ma and his Alibaba Foundation launched several initiatives designed to ease distress caused by outbreak.