Jack Ma Facts


Jack Ma Facts – Biography – # 50 Facts

Jack Ma Facts - Biography

Jack Ma Facts – Biography

Wonder Years of Jack Ma

1. Jack Ma Grows up in the Town of Hangzhou

Ma comes from a humble background.

He grows up in a small town of Hangzhou.

After failing the entrance exam for a university twice, he decides to join the Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute where he graduates with a BA in English.

2. Jack Ma, Internet Connection at Home

When Ma hooks up his Internet connection at home, he is more than excited.

He invites friends and family to come over to experience this phenomenon.

They wait hours just for a page to download, drinking, eating and chatting all the while.

However, the point is not using the Internet; it is to show China that the Internet exists.

3. Jack Ma is Determined to Learn English

He is determined to learn English, the first step in making a difference.

There is only one hotel in Hangzhou that foreigners stay at and this is where, for nine years, Ma rides his bike to offer his free service as a tour guide.

This allows him to practice English and learn English as well.

Jack Ma Facts Biography

Jack Ma Facts Biography

4. Becomes an English and International Trade Professor

Jack Ma has always been a natural leader.

When he is in school, he is elected to be the student chairperson.

He has also always has a strong interest in English, as he believes it is the language of the world.

After he graduates from the local university, Ma becomes an English and International Trade professor.

5. Informal Tour Guide in Hangzhou

Ma is a hard worker as a young boy.

He is an informal tour guide in Hangzhou, and rides his bike every day to translate for tourists.

He teaches at the college he graduates from.

Ma is determined to do something for China and has ideas about how to get there.

Alibaba.com, founded by Jack Ma

6. Jack Ma, Founder of the Website Alibaba.com

Ma’s interest in the Internet takes flight.

In 1999, he founds the website Alibaba.com.

This website now has more than 79 million users from over 240 countries.

Alibaba.com serves as a marketplace for businesses and consumers.

7. Mission of Alibaba- Globalizing the E-commerce Industry

Ma’s main mission with the development of Alibaba is to globalize the e-commerce industry.

He also wants to create a company that helps other companies advance in the e-commerce sector, and make it available to customers and businesses alike.

8. Alibaba is for Everyone

Jack Ma does not think of his success as limited only to the Chinese.

He says that his website Alibaba is surely created by the Chinese, but it is not only for the Chinese and he does not even refer to it as a Chinese company.

He says it belongs to those who use it, to all Alibaba users worldwide.

9. Alibaba.com as a “notorious market”

Products from China do not hold a high reputation in much of the world.

Due to this among other factors, the US government has listed Ma’s website, Alibaba.com as a “notorious market” for some time.

This is defined as a company that does not follow US government copyrights and business regulations.

10. Growth of Alibaba, Jack Ma

Ma begins Alibaba with 17 other employees, initially as an online business market for Chinese companies.

Now, the e-commerce company has grown rapidly and has more than 24, 000 employees working around the world.

The company has also expanded on the services it provides, which now includes consumer actions.

11. Alibaba’s Online Transactions Amount to US$ 160 billion-2012

From its humble beginnings as a start-up e-commerce company in the early 21st century, Alibaba has advanced to something much more spectacular.

By the end of the year 2012, Alibaba’s online transactions have accumulated to over one trillion Chinese Yuan, amounting to around US$ 160 billion.

12. Ma’s Company Earning Huge ProfitsUS$ 2.9 billion-2012

When Ma begins his teaching job at a local university, he makes approximately US$ 12 to US$ 15 per month.

Ma has come a long way since then.

Now, his company has tripled its profits in just a matter of nine months.

Sales are jumping over the bar, with a 74 percent increase amounting to US$ 2.9 billion in 2012.

13. Alibaba is Ready for IPO-2013

Although it has not been officially stated that Alibaba is going to go public, Ma in a recent public speech at a conference hints that the company is ready for its first initial public offering.

There have been many rumors surrounding the IP and many people are expecting it to occur sometime soon, as it is beneficial to the company.

14. Announcement of Resignation as CEO of Alibaba Group-2013

In January of 2013, Jack Ma announces his unexpected resignation as CEO of Alibaba Group in May of the same year.

He states that he will still be working for the company as Executive Chairman, saying he is too old for the Internet now.

His resignation has raised many questions regarding his health and the real reason he has decided to retire at the young age of 48.

15. Jonathan Lu is Going to Replace Ma as CEO

The new CEO that will be taking Ma’s seat has been announced to be Jonathan Lu.

Lu is a 43 year old, who has much experience in the company.

Ma is confident that Lu is the right person for the job and has no hesitations about leaving his beloved company in new hands.

Although Ma will no longer be CEO of the company, he will still have say in major decisions.

16. Reason Behind Alibaba’s Success

Ma believes that the main reason Alibaba is able to overcome issues and springs forward is the fact that they have nothing to lose.

They have no money, no technology and no real plan.

With whatever money the company does have, they think long and hard before spending it.

Other Companies by Jack Ma

17. Founder of China Yellow Pages, Jack Ma

After discovering that the Internet has little to say about China, Ma founds China Yellowpages in 1995, most likely one of China’s first Internet companies.

Soon after, the Chinese government adapts Ma’s information technology company, making his company a national and international success.

18. Launch of Taobao.com

Ma’s second internet success is in 2003 with the launch of Taobao.com.

Taobao means, “Searching for treasure.”

This website is similar to eBay, which is not very common in China at the time.

Taobao becomes much more popular in China, and in 2005, Yahoo! purchases a share in Alibaba.com for US$ 1 billion.

19. Hires 5000 Employees Internationally

Ma’s globalization ideology creates many job opportunities for people all over the world.

In 2009, he hires 5000 employees internationally for Alibaba and Taobao companies.

Family Jack Ma

20. Marries Zhang Ying

Ma is married to wife Zhang Ying.

He likes to mention that she is the reason behind his success.

She quits her job to give all of her attention to her family.

They have one son and one daughter.

Ma says that Ying not only helps with the family, but she also helps him with his career.

Jack Ma Personal Interests

21. Likes to Learn about Poker and Traditional Medicines

Ma is not a great card player, but says he has learnt much about business from playing poker.

He spends his free time learning about poker and traditional medicine. He is a tai chi advocate and has his own tai chi trainer.

Ma and actor Jet Li have decided to work together to promote awareness about the benefits and history of tai chi.

22. Interest in Religion

Ma says he is not a very religious person, but is very interested in religion.

“I love Christianity.

I love Buddhism. I love Taoism.”

For him Buddhism is more of a culture, as it has been embedded into the Chinese lifestyle for hundreds of years.

23. Inspired by the American film, Forrest Gump

His sources of inspiration are varied, and interestingly, very global.

One movie that he says has inspired him, is the American film, Forrest Gump.

He states that although Forrest Gump is not an intellectual, he is hard working and is focused.

Ma relates to the Forrest Gump character and finds many of the qualities of Gump to be ideal for a successful businessman like himself.

Jack Ma Personality

24. Love For Nature

Even though Ma’s resignation as CEO is just around the corner, he has many other projects to keep himself busy with.

Ma sits on the boards for both Japan’s Softbank and China’s Huay Brothers.

In 2010, due to his love for nature, he becomes the first Chinese citizen to join the Nature Conservancy of China’s board.

25. Likes to Be Respected

Ma says, “I don’t want to be liked.

I want to be respected.”

He believes that you cannot please everyone and it is useless to try.

Respect on the other hand can be extracted from anyone, be it a supporter or an enemy.

26. Humble Attitude

Ma is aware that there are bigger ‘fish’ out there, but states that his company is battling in a region that is more suitable for his kind of ‘crocodile’, an area in which Alibaba dominates the e-commerce sector.

Ma’s humble attitude and ordinary thinking have attracted a loyal group of followers and many people show up to listen to him speak at the company’s ‘AliFest’.

27. Accepts His Mistakes Openly

Relating his company to the story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, he calls his company, Albaba and the 1,001 mistakes.

He does not hesitate to talk about the mistakes and says that he has learnt much from them.

Some mistakes he talks about are the fact that the company grows too fast, too soon and as a result, when issues struck, they have to fire many workers.

There were times when the company does not have enough money due to free member usage.

Jack Ma Accolades

28. First Successful Chinese Entrepreneur to Appear on the Cover of Forbes

Jack Ma is a renowned Chinese billionaire who owns the two powerful websites, Taobao and Alibaba Group.

He is the first successful Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes.

29. Ma Gains Immense Recognition Worldwide

Ma’s success has been noted throughout his journey with Alibaba.

In 2001, at the age of 36, Ma is recognized as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum.

In 2005, as Alibaba gains success, Ma appears in Fortune’s list of “25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia.”

In 2008, with ever-growing achievements, Ma is named one of the 30 “World’s Best CEOs” by Barron’s.

30. Ma – Today’s Successful Businessman

A successful businessman today, Ma has gone through many rough periods with his company.

Fortunately for Ma, he has learnt a lot of the difficult times.

He says that innovation, vision and value are imperative to help employees jump over obstacles.

Determination and perseverance can help bring any company back to its feet.


31. Trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s China Program

Success and money have not clouded Ma’s love for his country.

He has recently become a trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s China program.

He is devoted to finding ways to help improve China’s environment.

32. Ma’s Inspiration to Become Environmentally Conscious

When asked what has inspired Ma to become interested in the environment, he says that there are many.

He says the river he swims in as a child now only comes up to his ankles.

His father in law has recently died of cancer, and this has led the entire family to become much more health and environmental conscience.

33. Funding Air and Water Quality Improvement Projects

Ma is using his position and his company to help the environment.

In 2010, Ma states that the Alibaba group of companies is using 0.3 percent of the company’s annual revenue to fund air and water quality improvement projects.

34. Ma’s Advice to New Companies

One of the main techniques that work for Alibaba in its early years is offering users free services.

However, Ma advises new companies against that path, especially in today’s IT market.

He says that more developed internet companies will ‘crush’ new companies that begin to give out free services, by offering its own free services to a larger clientele base.

New companies cannot afford to offer any free programs or services for very long, and if they do, they will diminish quite quickly.

35. Consumers are Important to Ma

Ma thinks differently from many people and is not afraid to make this known.

He says that consumers are the most important factor in making his company run, then the employees and lastly are the shareholders.

He explains further that the consumers are the most important, as they make his company run.

Employees come next as they are loyal to the company and work hard for success.

Shareholders are last, as they are taking part completely for their own good, and they are never fully stable, they change all the time.

36. Values Employees

Although the company has had some issues with trust and loyalty, Ma has not lost faith.

His company team trusts him and he trusts them.

They will do anything for the company and work hard to satisfy their customers.

Ma makes sure to involve employees in decisions and changes in the company; he says that it is important for employees to feel that they hold a valued position in the company.

37. Likes to Place Younger Professionals in Leadership Positions

Ma has a strong belief in the younger generation.

As older executives begin to step down, Ma has decided to replace them with younger professionals.

Ma says that he wants younger people to fill the leadership positions, to “ensure a smooth transition.”

He says that the company needs people who are better prepared to manage an e-commerce business like Alibaba.

38. Wants to Give Chance to Capable Employees

On his decision to step down as CEO of Alibaba, Ma says that he is setting out to do what he believes will make him happy.

He wants to make room for more capable employees and is selflessly worried about the future of the company, not his own.

39. Strong Supporter of Globalization

Ma is a strong supporter and advocate for globalization.

He wants a global company, and the name he chooses for his company, Alibaba, reflects that.

Alibaba, he says is notoriously tied in with the “Open Sesame” phrase that is used in One Thousand and One Nights.

Ma says just as Ali Baba is able to open doors, whichreveals treasures with Open sesame! Similarly, his company opens doors for people all over the world to access almost anything online.

Other Facts about Jack Ma

40. Jack Ma Knows Little about Technology

Jack Ma is not ashamed to admit that he knows little about technology.

Coming from the CEO of a tech company, this is quite surprising.

He also goes on to admit that he cannot write code and knows as much about the internet as any ‘regular’ person.

41. Believes that China Needs Powerful Small Entrepreneurial Businesses

Although he has created a large business force such as Alibaba, Ma believes that what China now needs powerful, small entrepreneurial businesses.

This will ensure an increase in jobs and this will do China more good than just supplying the country with money.

42. Ma fires 100 Sales People

Jack Ma is shocked when he learns that his employees are working behind his back and are cheating hundreds of consumers.

Ma fires 100 sales people that he has on deck.

The employees have been fired for setting up fake sellers and taking orders and payments from buyers, but never delivering their purchases.

43. Owns a Penthouse in Hong Kong Worth US$ 38 million

Ma is not one to shy away from spending his money.

He buys a penthouse in a luxury apartment building in Hong Kong for US$ 38 million.

It is a five bedroom duplex set in a beautiful neighborhood.

44. Four People He is Grateful to, Jack Ma

Ma co-founds Alibaba with Joseph Tsai. During a speech, Ma announces four people he is grateful to have in his life.

Tsai is among the four, including a kung Fu novel author, Louis Cha and friends Masayoshi Son (Softbank) and Jerry Yang (Yahoo).

45. The internet is Everywhere

Ma sees the days when the internet is not used at all in China.

Today, Ma is witnessing a booming trend where the internet is everywhere.

People are using the internet through their phones and Ma believes that the growth is only going to increase.

He says that in China, Alibaba is responsible for 5 percent of retail purchases.

He predicts that in five years’ time, this will increase to almost 30%.

46. Believes that E-Commerce in China is very Important

He is quite aware of the differences between China’s online business market and the US e-commerce market.

Ma says that the US e-commerce is like an extra added topping to a well-established market.

In China, however, the e-commerce is the well-established market, as the more traditional forms of business have been poorly maintained.

Therefore, e-commerce in China is very important.

47. China has More than 560 million Internet Users

In 2012, it is noted that China has more than 560 million internet users, which is a ten percent increase from 2011.

With China’s increasing dependence on the Internet has made it the country with more internet users than the population of any country, save India.

Making it one of the best platforms for e-commerce businesses flourish.

48. Copying Competitor Leads to Failure

He also believes that the mistake many Chinese and other foreign companies make is copying ideas from successful businesses.

Ma says that learning from a competitor is good, but that is where the line should be drawn.

Once you begin to copy anything from your competitor, you are on the road to failure.

49. A Life-Changing Event

A life-changing event in Ma’s life occurs in 1979.

During his self-employed work as a translator, Ma meets an Australian family.

Ma spends three days with the family’s two children and a friendship blooms.

The children keep in touch with Ma, and they invite him to visit in Australia, an invitation that he accepts in 1985.

Ma says that this experience changes his view on the world, a world where he believes China is the richest and the best country to live in.

50. Jack Ma, Enables Chinese Exporters to Meet US Buyers Online

Jack Ma develops a service, which enables Chinese exporters to meet US buyers online.

By 2002, their initial profit was US$ 1 million.

As the year goes by, the company continuously improves and Ma believes that this model saves them.

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