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Jack Ma
Enabling eCommerce- Small Enterprises, Global Players (39008130265) (cropped).jpg
Ma Yun

(1964-09-10) 10 September 1964 (age 54)
EducationHangzhou Normal University (BA)
OccupationFounder and Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group
Net worthUS$34.7 billion (November 2018)[1]
Height1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Political partyCommunist Party of China[2]
Spouse(s)Zhang Ying
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese马云
Traditional Chinese馬雲

Jack Ma Yun (Chinese: 马云; pinyin: Mǎ Yún, [mà y̌n];[3] born 10 September 1964)[4] is a Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. As of August 2018, he is one of China's richest men with a net worth of US$38.6 billion, as well as one of the wealthiest people in the world.[1] Ma's primary ideology was for an open and market driven economy.[5]

A prominent business figure, Ma is seen as a global ambassador for Chinese business and as such is frequently listed as one of the world's most powerful people by Forbes.[6][7] In addition, he also serves as a role model for startup businesses.[8] In 2017, he was ranked 2nd in the annual "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" list by Fortune.[9] On 10 September 2018, he announced that he will retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work,[10][11][12] effective in one year with Daniel Zhang succeeding him as executive chairman.[13]

Ma resigned from the position of the CEO of Alibaba Group and reportedly decided to eventually resign as chairman to focus on philanthropy.[14]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • JACK MA: You Need To Hear This (INCREDIBLE SPEECH!)
  • Jack Ma's Ultimate Advice for Students & Young People - HOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE
  • Jack Ma's Life Advice Will Change Your Life (MUST WATCH)
  • Jack Ma - DO WHAT IS HARD (Jack Ma Motivation)


good evening mr. ma it is a great honor and pleasure for us all to have you here I'm going to start with the conversation with you questions at the midst of the 90s when you studied your first internet ventures the word web was still at its inception in its diapers with some few tens of thousands of sites today it has many hundreds of millions of sites what did you see then that others didn't well thank you thank you so much for anybody it's a it's a good question um lemme I seen this way I was so bad at schooling I failed again again my University and a high school test I try to three years for entering University and the final I got into the postal University in my city which are today I believe that is the best of University in the world Hangzhou Teachers College so I never thought I would be a teacher I hate to be a teacher in China a boy to be a teacher people look dumped on you at that time so for four years every day I thought about is that what should I do if I graduate I should not be a teacher because when you had Teachers College when you graduate you have to be a teacher because the government pay the money so when I graduate I I was assigned to teach in a university because our university was was supposed to train middle school teachers 500 graduate students a 500 students graduate only one of them can be assigned to the University 499 went to the unit when go to the middle school so I was the only one chosen to teach in the in the university my president he saw me at the gate and he said Jack I know you will leave but promise me in five years teach in that University don't leave don't just stay there so I said okay president I promise when I joined that university I did not know my my pay was so bad I less than $10 a month and because I graduate from a very poor university the other teachers they all from Jinghua beta so I was looking down at Palm but I promise to five years so for five years I've been teaching teaching I worked hard and and then I was elected to by students the best teacher of the university and then I said okay five years up I kept my promise number 60 I started love to be a teacher and then I thought everything I've taught my students are the things I learned from books I should leave the school spend at 10 15 years get all the experience and then go back to teach then I could be the real a good teacher that was thinking then I went to the United States yeah so then I went to the United States I found that the internet I just want to find a job at that time I looking for a lot of jobs all fill people don't want I don't want me they say no even looking for a job in a hotel they say hey you're not good-looking enough so I discovered the Internet in Seattle 1994 in uh in December I searched the word beard I was not it was so scared of the computer and my friend said just to search whatever you want to search at that time there's colitis the the illness term Oh Zack you know the Broads are very early days they say you search anything so first a word search beard there's no beer information on the internet from China there's a Japanese beer German beer US beer and then I searched China say there's no date about China so I thought about hmm if I can put some Chinese information on the web when people find out that might be a good opportunity so I do not know internet would be that big just one looking for a job that was the original thinking I want to leave the school build up something and when I find an internet I think if I can put Chinese company information on the Internet let the other people that do it this might be a good future so we thought have a greater vision for the future at the beginning just looking for a job and I don't want to be a teacher that was the thing honest answer because it's well known that you've been an English teacher so let me with your permission allow me to teach you Hebrew one word one word in Hebrew okay it's not it's not very complicated in Hebrew when we want to say it's a slang word but we want to say something is doing really great Oh super okay we say sab bába sáí bába sáí bába sáí bába only marks [Applause] so one can say and especially you Alibaba is thank you let's do it let's do it together yeah Alibaba so thank you after you led the largest IPO in history a few years ago you are quoted as saying to investors that Alibaba would become the fifth economic entity in the world following us China Europe Japan what was your vision to achieve that yeah because I never thought we would be today I never thought I would be today I think for my you know when I leave university I thought just to doing something and 10 20 years later I can go back to teach I never know I never realized I can achieve that much when we look back today we have close to 70,000 excellent young people in my company we have so much data technology anchors 700 million users I think all the things does not belong to me there must be something that somebody in the sky want Jack and your people should do something different that was the thinking in the past ten years always but when our company went IPO today were like a four hundred billion dollars market cap this does not belong to us and why we succeed because we support young people supported small medium-sized companies we supported women and because of supporting these people Vedas succeed so we believe how can we last our success we believe we should support more young people we should support more SMEs we should support more women if they are successful we will be successful that was because I believe one thing when you have a cup of two or three million dollars that money you belong belong to you we have twenty million dollars you have a problems about money depreciations you buy this stock of that stock when you have more than one hundred million dollars 1 billion dollars that money does not belong to you it's the social responsibility if people trust you asking you to manage the money better sir so that was the thinking and then we decided we say we should make a economy that is big enough to eat with that economy we can enable every young people every small business every woman globally they want to global by global sell global deliver global pay and girl boat travel with the technology we're giving we can create a hundred million jobs for the world today we create 33 million jobs for China we hope we hope the fifth largest economy of the world that digital economy can enable 100 million jobs for the world we can enable 2 billion population in the world they can shop and buy everywhere and they can we can create 10 million small business they can be profitable through the internet that was the vision I don't know in my life can achieve that but somebody will achieve it if we continue to do it if we cannot reach in 10 years why not 20 years why not 30 years people should continue to do it and somebody someday if somebody really reached that would be very proud [Applause] shall I you for you thank you there's tea by the way there's the team you like is here on the table we are in Israel the startup nation any Tel Aviv ranked as the word 5th most innovative city you have encountered Israeli investors ok it's a short visit you've left a lot of startup paste so you met business people could you relate to the Israeli business spirit or our position in the global our position in the global tech arena yeah do you have any plans of a flag of Alibaba Intel in Israel in Tel Aviv absolutely we we've been thinking internally we discuss a lot about where in this world Alibaba should have our face labs that that should have out people there working together to reach because the fifth largest economy does not belong to us blood does not belong to Jack Ma and it's a belongs to the the generation of this this generation belong to the world belong to all the young people believe in the future belong to the people who believe the technology can enable people so one of the three countries we talk about is Israel so we all talk about we should come to Israel have a lab and inviting the excellent smash the young people in Israel join the force together let's build up an economy that can empower young people small business and women so this is we think and that and actually we have already invested the five companies here and we only have 12 people here so this trip we brought almost a 40 Alibaba senior management e-40 heroes now the thieves we came together we learned we experienced and we feel it everybody is so excited in the past two three days every night with we debate with discuss with sure until 11:30 last night we 11:45 we think we can do a lot of things here and I think we'll continue to invest it here we were joined together with joining the force of the venture capitalist to encourage more startups and we would love to hire more people here together buuuut the fifth largest economy it's not the fifth largest economy does not belong to Jack Ma that's not even belong to China belongs to our generation that's one thing that's let us take some questions from the students let's start with miss Faye Roos with Scala she's from Israel student of Eastern Asian Studies faculty of humanities Fairuz please great very honored to be here and to be the first person to ask question as said I am a student of East Asian Studies in Chinese and also business management here in Tel Aviv University so therefore I decided today to ask my question both in Chinese and in English good so it's an opportunity for me to try my Chinese so I'll start with the Chinese version new Jean Channing gave me an Ching Ron's way of shiatsu the ie geniusu Shama which is what is the most valuable professional advice you can give to young people today I think everybody's made in a unique and different so you you must have a unique and different way a lot of people today have a lot of complaints say I don't have opportunity I complain a lot when I was young and suddenly realized complaint does not solve any problem where the opportunity always in the place where people complain there are so many if there are so many opportunities in the world in this world because there are so many complaints if you can solve the complaint one of the complaint that's the opportunity so this is what we we made I think young people if my advice to be an entrepreneur don't be scared of failure of setbacks and don't give up there people there are a lot of books written about Alibaba about me which I'm scared of one day I was reading on one day on a plane that's many years ago in the newspaper I was reading a guy introducing a guy very great I finally think people are talking about me no that's not me it was it was a article about a great person and then finally I find out they are talking about me I'm not that great that's not me right I want to say is that if there is a book I want to write it is only by about 1001 mistakes we came today to down we made so many mistakes people say you are lucky yes we are very lucky were the only 19 years to today's size but we cos there are so many tough situations we made so many mistakes that people cannot even imagine probably 90 years just like Israel for 70 years your country grow from nothing to today you have gone through so many tough experience and that will make you different [Applause] next student is Miss Cheng she's a student from China studying here in Tel Aviv University MA in archaeology by the way a Chinese very good good evening mr. Mun is a great honor to have you here and you know Taobao means a lot for Chinese overseas student especially in Israel so my my question is if you could magically meet anyone from the past who would that be thank you Peter any / meat I'll be the person that person imagined create me meet that person yeah well a lot of people I want to be in China if the person I want to meet is tin shopping without him I would not be there would be no Alibaba it's the reformed China was so set back and closed and then shot being said let's open the door and I want I know he loves smoke when he stops no smoke he I got a sick and he passed away and I want to smoke have a cigarette with him and thank him and I want to thank a lot of people that in the history that you know these people made great things that made us so I think the thing shopping I would love to meet and also Albert Einstein right and I also love to talk to the the the famous of the Jewish the Carmack's you know he in ferns to China and all others I wanted to know more about these a real thinking behind it yeah so I think in the history can see a lot you want I want to meet a lot of people but today the good thing is by reading books you talk but a lot of books I start to suspect because the lot of books about us which is not true even if we are still surviving I mean so talking to the people is a great opportunity thank you [Applause] next student is miss Whitney Stewart she is from the University of Pennsylvania she's studying Tel Aviv University at this study abroad program which they come for a few months to study here one semester so Whitney Whitney Stewart please hi mr. ma thank you so much for being here with us today it's an incredible honor I would like to ask if you hire based on a specific educational background thank you no absolutely not because if we are high based on the education background jack not can never be except by ali baba when we start the business we had 18 founders including me cementing of them now most of them my students and most of them well today people think these 18 people the this master people in China we don't think we were smart honestly we all graduate from the very poor schools the only thing we did with that we are very United we all believe the future we are all optimistic and we learned through mistakes we never give up when Alibaba first I peel the 2007 in Hong Kong we had like a close to 500 millionaires we made 500 millionaires and I had a talk with sub people in the room I say hey everybody now we are very successful we are all millionaires do you think we are smart than the others people say no do you think we'll work harder than the others no the early days when we have because we had a strange name Alibaba people say what a what a company a lot of people think is a company of telling lies we cannot even hide people say if the people who is not that much disabled we all hide them because nobody want to join us and but we gone through it so I asked those 500 millionaires there's one thing those people who think they are smart after half year they all gone they start to fill up their own if you don't believe our model they don't believe by helping others by helping small business you can make money because that 20 years ago only by helping big companies you can make money by helping small companies you don't have chance so smart people left us those people believe they are accident the headhunting company all come they had hunt our people we are the people nobody even come to help us so we state we have no choice we don't have any company to go but we believe our future so after 10 years we survived and today the same we don't believe those people I think this is what I give advice to students in cover or Chinua if you graduate from famous University please respect the people who graduate from the poor schools those people like us graduate from a poor universities please respect yourself we have chosen if we work together [Applause] of course we would love to have great students from Talavera from Chinua poor harvard but the most important is that you find that people with the fighting spirit learning sprit and this is we hi people for not because you which is school you're from even to now we said we would rather not having students from beta and Chinua because we believe they achieve our university should go to the small medium-sized companies not us because we are helping small medium-sized companies if we take all the talents away because we have today we have a lot of cash we can giving high pay to get the best students from university if the society is poor no matter how strong you are your company will be poor so this is what we believe this should go to us they should go to SMEs empower SMEs and then we help together that's what we believe this animosity a student of Industrial Engineering please hi I really appreciate the vision that you have for the younger generation and considering that I was wondering what do you wish for your children my children I wanted to be to be healthy to be happy do things what they like do not don't they don't have to sort of like do what the father wants them to do they do things what they want the only thing I think of as the parents should giving them health optimistic for the future no matter what ever in your life you were you were encounter all kinds of things be optimistic and next is education if she wants whatever education wants I support her rest of it she goes on her way so this is what I expected my kids to have good health and happiness zombie zombie jack of my second it's tough cuz I know it's I'm not me I don't want to my kids unless they want to write I think I would tell them it's very lonely you have to have a strong will normally if you want to be leader leadership leaders means the loneliness leaders remains responsibility if you response for one person you are yourself if you aren't responsible eight million people your Prime Minister of Israel if you want to response for one point four billion people your president is Xi Jinping so if I responsibility not everybody would love to do that and it's okay but this is what I give my children I wanted to be happy and healthy mr. Elliott Ashkenazi from Belgium is a student of listen to this international program for conflict resolutions and mediation studies mediation of Social Sciences Shalom mr. ma so I try in order to teach you a second word in Hebrew now so my question is like this with all you know the due respect I have for you you have been rejected from Harvard ten times and you've proven that you don't necessarily need the grease from this you know so-called famous University to succeed in life so my question is do you think that the entire educational system should be updated thank you very much absolutely absolutely the education system need to be upgraded this is something that I worry about and this is something that is going all around the world telling the government officers that my worried people worry about high technology but young people don't worry about it I feel very few young people worry about the future only senior people worry about ah you know one day when we Alibaba used to be on PC and then settling will move to the mobile phone a lot of people complain I move have a too-small how can you do shopping or such a mobile phone screen and later we realize because we generate our eyes as shots are getting old young people never thought think is a small they think is a big enough next 30 years the artificial intelligence all the high tech will we'll do a lot of will replace a lot of jobs this is for sure when human being design invented computers human Bishan know that computer would be much smarter Thank You Minh beings they remember the calcula faster and they never get upset they always keep on doing things but don't worry about it machine can never wing human beings machine can do only things machine can do better human being have hearts machine doesn't only machine only have chips so what worried me about is the way the things the cat that all the things would teach our kids today how to remember more things calculator faster all these things machine would do better next 30 years what are the things we should teach our kids that they will be different they can do better they can do the things machine cannot a Duke this is a discuss with the president they all agree I think we should teach our kids how to be more innovative how to be more creative and how to be more constructive human sight is more important than that the not I think the past 200 years human be made a huge progress because for the knowledge of driven based education I think next century we shall focus more on wisdom based how the human based so this is I think next to 30 years please pay special attention to the education system reform that our kids will never got discipline disappoint because of the Machine take a lot of the job there are a lot of jobs waiting for human beings and next thing is I won't say that pay attention to these you know companies who have less than 13 price please pay special attention to the young people who below 30 years old because this is the generation were born Internet they will change the world so education is the key [Music] next student is ya den sheffy student of accounting and business please by the way we need a lot of a social scientist in Alibaba because whoever so many we are managing a economy over 700 million people that's so complicated 1% of the bad guys we got seven million bad guys and how to deal with it not you know it's it's it's not only bad guys some people have a strange behavior but it so what Alibaba need does not only engineers and the software programs we need love suit psychologist the social behavior Alex first Apollo you know this is something that we have to manage him so yeah but thank you for question mm okay so my question is what was the most valuable professional advice ever given to you what was the most valuable professional advice ever given to you given to me given to you well the first two three years for Alibaba was was a disaster we do not have a business model people in China do not believe the Internet people do not believe ecommerce what we did the 18 people together it I got like a 40 50 people we only have a vision we don't know how to do it and then we got an excellent person he worked more than 30 years in GE he gives me such act it's about a system it's about a people valley meshing and people training that's the best and then year 2002 and three four I spent a lot of time training our people with the valley vision and professionalism and then we've got more managers more leaders than most of the other startups that we started to go better it's not of a business model later its about create valleys for the others and that that is very good advice for me and we made Alibaba different even to today we're still so much mission driven Valley German and I believe we won the last 102 years we were born 1999 last century we had a one year we want to go through 100 years this entry plus one year 100 to cross three centuries so in order to survive we have to be mission driven value driven and people driven today we do e-commerce tomorrow me not the day of tomorrow we don't know well we do but if we're a mission value driven if we believe young people if we want to supporting the other people to be most successful there is always business model there's always money to make that's what we believe next student is mr. Mauricio figueira from Mexico for Mexico he studies laws you still need lawyers yeah we know we need a law but not necessary lawyers ok studies master of law at the Faculty of Law please yeah thank you very much I would like to know which is the first trade that you seek in a job candidate whatever that what the first quality you're seeking in a job for a new candidate what I'm looking for well so we do a lot we have a like a two or three hundred lawyer I when I was when Alibaba was in my apartment I never thought a company need a lawyer I never thought Alibaba in the future we have like five more than three lawyers today we've probably ever three hundred lawyers well we need a lot of jobs because today we are handling 700 million users very I think we are going to handling 2 billion people there are so many things that we have never seen never in menu before there is a lot of jobs like a data cloud computing ok I we call Alibaba intelligence and there are so many things the machine learning that we don't know and I don't think today there is expert of these things don't tell me somebody is the expert of e-commerce don't tell me somebody is the expert of Internet I tell your story 1996 I was invited to join a meeting in Beijing about Internet at that time China was not even connect to the internet yet so I went there there's about 12 people in a room they call themself Internet expert I say what we've got an Internet expert so there's a lot of worries oh the worried they're so worried dad and they should china should control internet this so after 20 years I found all the things they worried never come out all the things they do not worry all come out there is no there are a lot of experts of yesterday there's no expert of future the thing we do is we learn so that's why you said what kind of job we need what kind of candidates who are looking for we're looking for every kinds of jobs but the thing is that we hire you not because you are qualified we hire you because you will be qualified if you learn together with us so this is what Alibaba requests we high people they're ready to learn they're ready to take risk they're ready to fail and they're ready to suffer and we believe maybe 15-20 years later there will be the expert of their own field of the history that's what we think [Music] we're going to conclude the session so let me ask you before we conclude a personal question you being at the helm of mega company it's always stressful we know that you sing we know that you dance we know that you're an expert and movie star in martial arts that all we know but what do we don't know that you do only for yourself to relax to wind up tell us something that we don't know of course there are lot of things you don't know that I everyone know ok yeah you say I sing I sing very good in my bathroom but when I see the public always still I feel the three times in the India in front of my colleagues the first time affairs are 30,000 colleagues in the big entourage I thought I can sing well in my bathrooms I said to sing their fill and I love to paint yeah I love to pink but I'm I'm not traditional painting I think if it because we can do it that way why should I cannot do that way but I paint it and I got criticized by a lot of artists in China they say you have destroy our out there there are three Jack mozz I think the first two jekima is people's imagination you think he's great he's bad I think Jack Ma is not a great is that bad it's not smart it's a normal the day when I told my seventeen founders in my apartment say if Jack Ma and his team can be successful 70 or 80 percent of young people in China can be successful we're not smart we don't have money we don't have technology we don't have anything the only things that we work together for future so we said if we succeed 80% of young people in the world they can be successful that was who we are so people think Jack this is the that your imagination that is not me so when I look at people say Jack Ma people criticize him I'm happy people crazy That's not me people praise him as you know that's not me I know very well this is not me the second is Jack Ma is the CEO chairman of Alibaba that's a tough job because all the easy good things my team finished and tough job the things that came to me normally not easy you have to be you know you have to be a seal like this is not me it's my job it's amazed my personal I'm a straight boy like any boys in a poor family my I'm a very I came from a very poor family poor education I love to make friends I love to have a farm so I want to be back to myself this is what I I do anything a lot of things that any boy want to do I want to do and I want to enjoy a lot of lives but this is why I want to retire early I can go back to myself because this is not me this is my job and they're real jack is something that I always want to come out and every year I want to see I want to do something new [Applause] I would like to thank professor Franco professor laughter mr. ma it was inspiring and Frank I must tell you the audience the mr. ma is shortly be awarded a tel-aviv University honorary doctorate so let's give him a round of applause [Applause]


Early life and education

Ma was born on 10 September 1964 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. He began studying English at a young age by conversing with English-speakers at Hangzhou international hotel. He would ride 70 miles on his bicycle to give tourists tours of the area to practice his English for nine years. He became pen pals with one of those foreigners, who nicknamed him "Jack" because he found it hard to pronounce his Chinese name.[15]

Later in his youth, Ma struggled attending college. The Chinese entrance exams are held only once a year and Ma took four years to pass. Ma attended Hangzhou Teacher's Institute (currently known as Hangzhou Normal University) and graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in English.[16][17] While at school, Ma was head of the student council.[18] After graduation, he became a lecturer in English and International Trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University.

Business career

Jack Ma on the future of online trade and globalization at the World Economic Forum 2017

Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected by all. "I went for a job with the police; they said, 'you're no good'", Ma told interviewer Charlie Rose. "I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy ...".[19] In addition to this, he applied ten times to Harvard Business School (HBS) and got rejected.[20]

In 1994, Ma heard about the Internet. In early 1995, he went to the US with his friends, who helped introduce him to the Internet. Although he found information related to beer from many countries, he was surprised to find none from China. He also tried to search for general information about China and again was surprised to find none. So he and his friend created an "ugly" website related to China.[21] He launched the website at 9:40 AM, and by 12:30 PM he had received emails from some Chinese investors wishing to know about him. This was when Ma realized that the Internet had something great to offer. In April 1995, Ma, his wife Cathy and a friend raised US$20,000 and started their first company. Their company was dedicated to creating websites for companies and he named it "China Pages".[22] Within three years, the company had made 5,000,000 Chinese Yuan which at the time was equivalent to US$800,000.

Ma began building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. He 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", he recalled. "We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved the Internet existed".[23] At a conference in 2010, Ma revealed that he has never actually written a line of code nor made one sale to a customer. He acquired a computer for the first time at the age of 33.[24]

From 1998 to 1999, Ma headed an information technology company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. In 1999, he quit and returned to Hangzhou with his team to found Alibaba, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site in his apartment with a group of 18 friends.[25] He started a new round of venture development with 500,000 yuan.

Jack Ma at 2007 China Trust Global Leaders Forum
Jack Ma at 2007 China Trust Global Leaders Forum

In October 1999 and January 2000, Alibaba twice won a total of a $25 million foreign venture capital investment. The program was expected to improve the domestic e-commerce market and perfect an e-commerce platform for Chinese enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to address World Trade Organization (WTO) challenges. Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system and from 2003 he founded Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx. After the rapid rise of Taobao, eBay offered to purchase the company. However, Ma rejected their offer, instead garnering support from Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with a $1 billion investment.

In September 2014 it was reported Alibaba was raising over $25 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.[26] Alibaba became one of the most valuable technology companies in the world after raising the full $25 billion, the largest initial public offering in US financial history. Ma now serves as executive chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries:, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,, and Alipay. In November 2012, Alibaba's online transaction volume exceeded one trillion yuan. Ma has often been invited to lecture at Peking University.[27] As of 2016, Ma is the owner of Château de Sours in Bordeaux, Chateau Guerry in Côtes de Bourg and Château Perenne in Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux.[28]

On 9 January 2017, Ma met with United States President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, to discuss potential 1 million jobs openings in the following five years through Alibaba's interest in the country.[29] On 8 September 2017, to celebrate Alibaba's 18th year of establishment, Ma appeared on stage and turned the event into a 'Thriller' with a Michael Jackson inspired performance. This isn't the first time Ma has performed at an Alibaba event. He performed part of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" at the 2009 event while dressed as a heavy metal lead singer.[30] In the same month, Ma also partnered with Sir Li Ka-shing in a joint venture to offer a digital wallet service in Hong Kong.[31]

Ma announced on 10 September 2018 that he will step down as executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in the coming year.[32]

Entertainment career

In 2017, Ma made his acting debut with his first kung fu short film Gong Shou Dao. It was filmed in collaboration with the Double 11 Shopping Carnival Singles' Day. In the same year, he also participated in a singing festival and performed dances during Alibaba's 18th anniversary party.[33][34][35]

Awards and honours

  • In 2004, Ma was honoured as one of the "Top 10 Economic Personas of the Year" by China Central Television (CCTV).[36]
  • In Sep 2005, the World Economic Forum selected Ma as a "Young Global Leader".[36]
  • Fortune also selected him as one of the "25 Most Powerful Businessperson in Asia" in 2005.[36]
  • Businessweek also selected him as a "Businessperson of the Year" in 2007.[37]
  • In 2008, Barron's featured him as one of the 30 "World's Best CEOs"[38]
  • In May 2009, Time magazine listed Ma as one of the world's 100 most powerful people. In reporting Ma's accomplishments, Adi Ignatius, former Time senior editor and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, noted that "the Chinese Internet entrepreneur is soft-spoken and elf-like — and he speaks really good English" and remarked that ", Mr. Ma's consumer-auction website, conquered eBay in China."[39] He was also included in this list in 2014.[40]
  • BusinessWeek chose him as one of China's Most Powerful People.[41]
  • Forbes China also selected him as one of the Top 10 Most Respected Entrepreneurs in China by in 2009. Ma received the 2009 CCTV Economic Person of the Year: Business Leaders of the Decade Award.
  • In 2010, Ma was selected by Forbes Asia as one of Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy for his contribution to disaster relief and poverty.[42]
  • In 2011 it was announced that one of his companies had gained control of Alipay, formerly a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, so as to "comply with Chinese law governing payment companies in order to secure a license to continue operating Alipay.[43]
  • Numerous analysts reported that Ma sold Alipay to himself below market value without notifying the board of Alibaba Group or the other major owners Yahoo and Softbank, while Ma stated that Alibaba Group's board of directors were aware of the transaction. The ownership dispute was resolved by Alibaba Group, Yahoo! and Softbank in July 2011.[44]
  • Ma was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in November 2013.[45]
  • Ma is a board member of Japan's SoftBank and China's Huayi Brothers Media Corporation. He became a trustee of The Nature Conservancy's China program in 2009 and joined its global board of directors in April 2010.
  • In 2013, he became chairman of the board for The Nature Conservancy's China Program; this was one day after he stepped down from Alibaba as company CEO.[46][47]
  • In 2014, he was ranked as the 30th most powerful person in the world in an annual ranking published by Forbes.[48]
  • In 2015, Asian Award honoured him with the Entrepreneur of the Year award.[49]
  • In 2017, Fortune ranked Ma second on its World's 50 Greatest Leaders list.[50]
  • In 2017, a KPMG survey ranked Ma third in global tech innovation visionary survey.[51]
  • In October 2017, Ma was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Technopreneurship from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines.[52]
  • In May 2018, Ma was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa in recognition of his contributions to technology, society and the world by University of Hong Kong.[53]
  • In May 2018, Ma received an honorable doctoral degree from professors Yaakov Frenkel and Yaron Oz at the Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel.[54]


At the annual general meeting of shareholders for in May 2010, Ma announced Alibaba Group would begin in 2010 to earmark 0.3% of annual revenue to environmental protection, particularly on water and air-quality improvement projects. Of the future of Alibaba, he has said, "our challenge is to help more people to make healthy money, 'sustainable money', money that is not only good for themselves but also good for the society. That's the transformation we are aiming to make."[55]

In November 2018, the People's Daily identified Ma as a member of the Communist Party of China, something which surprised observers.[56][57][58]


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