Jack Ma

Name: Jack Ma
Chinese Name: 马云
Title: Founder and executive chairman
Company: Alibaba
Years Working in China: 30
Jack Ma's Social Profile:

Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, Ma is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, a family of highly successful internet-based businesses.

As of November 2014, Ma was the richest man in China and 18th richest man in the world. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, Ma has an estimated net worth of US$29.7 billion.

In September 2014, Alibaba announced it was raising US$20 billion in an IPO. Ma now leads Alibaba’s nine major subsidiaries: Alibaba.com, Taobao marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, AliExpress.com and Alipay.

At a conference in 2010, Ma revealed that he has never actually written a line of code or made one sale to a customer. He encountered a computer for the first time at the age of thirty-three, according to Bloomberg.

In 1994, Ma learned about the internet. In April 1995, he, his wife and a friend collected US$20,000 and started an internet company. Their company was dedicated to creating a web platform for companies. Named China Yellow Pages, within three years it made US$800,000.

From 1998 to 1999, Ma headed an IT company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

In 1999, he quit his job and went back to Hangzhou and founded Alibaba in his apartment with 17 friends. He started a new round of venture development and won US$25 million in international venture capital the next year.

Once successful, eBay wanted to purchase Taobao, but Ma rejected the offer to keep control of the company. At the same time securing a US$1 billion investment from Yahoo’s co-founder Jerry Yang.

All of which pathed the way to the now historic US$20 billion IPO in 2014.