Tech

Jack Ma, Alibaba Founder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Alibaba founder Jack Ma is in the news as Alibaba gets ready to go public. Here’s what you should know about the man that Forbes called “China’s Steve Jobs.”


1. Jack Ma Founded Alibaba in an Apartment

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Jack Ma faced an uphill battle on his quest to become one of the richest men in the world. CNNMoney notes that prior to founding Alibaba, Ma tried to get jobs at a teaching college, and at a KFC. He was summarily rejected by both. After rounding up $60,000 in startup cash from his friends, he launched Alibaba out of his apartment.


2. Jack Ma’s Net Worth Is $8.4 Billion

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According to his profile on Forbes, Ma is worth over $8 billion. He is the sixth richest man in China, and ranks 161st on Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires.

Forbes also notes that Ma owns 8.9% of Alibaba, either personally or through his offshore company, APN Ltd.


3. Jack Ma Is Not CEO of Alibaba, But Is Executive Chairman

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Bloomberg reported that Ma stepped down from his CEO role at Alibaba last year. His CEO spot was filled by Jonathan Lu. Ma now acts as the company’s Executive Chairman.


4. Jack Ma Has a Crazy Streak, Likes to Sing

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Ma is seen above performing at an event to honor Alibaba’s 10-year anniversary. Ma has been known to sing at corporate events, and sometimes wear outlandish outfits. The Wall Street Journal reports that Ma sang on stage earlier this month ahead of the company’s IPO. The song he sang was the Chinese pop song “I Love You, China.”


5. Jack Ma Appears to Be Highly Ethical

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Jack Ma appears to have ethics, both in his personal lifestyle and in his business practices. In 2009, Ma pledged to stop eating shark fin soup, as the fins are cruelly harvested. That same year, Alibaba’s subsidiary Taobao.com banned the sale of shark fins on the site.

Ma is also quoted on the Alibaba site as being both socially and environmentally responsible. Ma stated:

“Business people like myself are beginning to pay attention to social issues including the environment and taking action and really treating this issue very seriously. And we’re doing it not for P.R. reasons, but because we know it is important. We know it is serious and that if we don’t take action, it will hurt ourselves, our children and our families.”


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Alibaba: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant and one of the fastest growing Internet companies in the world, is set to go public.

Click here to read more

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