Last week Jack Ma’s company, Alibaba Group–a family of Internet-based business–appeared in the stock market on Wall Street and he thus becomes the richest man in China and ranks 24th on Forbes with a net worth of  $21.8 billion. It’s a really huge news to us and suddenly Jack Ma, the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, becomes the focus of almost every one’s discussion.

It’s not truly a surprise I think, at the beginning of the year I saw a movie called American Dreams in China(,which tells a similar story of 3 entrepreneurs struggling to make their ‘American Dream’ come true. Ma, a man of ordinary birth and ordinary family, makes all his way to Wall Street. He deserves to be the most successful entrepreneur and philanthropist of China.

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At early age, Ma decided to learn English well so he rode his bike to a   hotel nearby every morning to practise talking to foreigners there. Later in his youth, he fail the entrance exam twice and attended Hangzhou Tearcher’s Institute, which is quite similar to American Entrepreneurs like Mark Zukerberg and Bill Gates who quitted college to start up. Ma first started building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. He has said that “the day we got connected to the Web, I invited friends and TV people over to my house,” and on a very slow dial-up connection, “we waited three and a half hours and got half a page…. We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved the Internet existed.”

In 1995, Ma founded China Yellowpages, which is believed to be China’s first Internet-based company.He then founded Alibaba in 1999, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site which currently serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories. In September 2014 it was announced Alibaba was raising $20 billion in an IPO. Ma now serves as Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries –, Tmall, Taobao(just like eBay in US), eTao, Marketplace, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,, and Alipay(which is the early competitor of Paypal and now serves the same way amongst China).

Now as the richest man, Ma said to journalist, that he lived a happier life when he earns 90rmb a month and struggled in society than being the richest one, which of course we never believe. Why telling all this? Simply because I think Jack Ma has a story worth telling, and as a business symbol of China, Ma becomes a new star that guide Chinese entrepreneurs to head his way.

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About Jiamin Deng

Exchange student of ITM from Tsinghua univ.,China.

6 Thoughts on “China’s New Richest Man: Jack Ma

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