New Delhi: Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma will reportedly retire from the e-commerce company on Monday. Ma, who founded Alibaba in 1999, stepped down as its chief executive in 2013. He currently serves as the company’s international face at top political and business events.
Considered as one of China’s best known corporate leaders, he will remain on the company’s board of directors and continue to mentor its management.
According to Forbes magazine, Ma is the third-richest person with a net worth of $ 36.6b.
Who is Jack Ma ?
- Jack 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 for nine long years to act as a guide to tourists in the radius, with a motive of polishing his English.
- 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.
- 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”.
- Within three years, the company had made 5,000,000 Chinese Yuan which at the time was equivalent to US$800,000. He founded Alibaba in the year 1999.
Alibaba and its net worth
- Since launching its first website, which helped small Chinese exporters, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to sell internationally, Alibaba Group has grown into a global leader in online and mobile commerce segment. Today, the company and its subsidiaries operate leading wholesale and retail online marketplaces as well as businesses in cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, innovation initiatives and others.
- With operations in over 200 countries, Alibaba is the world’s largest retailer, a conglomerate of AI companies, one of the biggest venture capital firms, and one of the leading investment corporations in the world. Its online sales and profits surpassed all US retailers (including Walmart, Amazon and eBay) combined since 2015.
- It has been expanding into the media industry, with revenues rising by triple percentage points year on year. It also orchestrated China Single’s day into the world’s biggest online and offline shopping day, with its own sales reaching over US$25.4 billion on 11 November 2017.
- As of June 2018, Alibaba’s market cap stood at US$542 billion. It is one of the top 10 most valuable and biggest companies in the world. In January 2018, Alibaba became the second Asian company to break the US$500 billion valuation mark, after Tencent. As of 2018, Alibaba has the 9th highest global brand value.