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Jack Ma Of Alibaba

Updated on September 1, 2016
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I like to share information that makes life more joyful and meaningful. My main interests are health and general wellness in body and mind.

The Mighty Horse


The Mighty Mouse


Jack Ma The Mickey Mouse

Ever heard of Jack Ma? What a silly question. Yes, Jack Ma of Alibaba. The name itself conjures up various imaginations. If you still don’t know who Jack Ma is, I think you should knock your head on the wall. But not too hard, otherwise it will bleed. However, I still maintain that everyone who can read this article of mine, will definitely know who is Jack Ma of Alibaba.

The name itself conjures up various imaginations. “Jack” reminds me of my favorite nursery story, “Jack and the bean stalk”. “Ma” reminds me of my late mother, for I called my mother Ah Ma. “Alibaba” of course refers to the main character of “Alibaba and the forty thieves”, a very well-known Arabic folktale. “Baba” itself has a very esteemed meaning in Persian and Indian cultures, meaning “father, wise man, saint”. “Baba” is often used as an honorific for spiritual people. One famous personality was Sai Baba.

And “Jack Ma” in person actually reminds me of Mickey Mouse! LOL!! I hope Jack Ma is not going to sue me for libel. I will lose everything if Jack Ma sued me, including all my hair for whatever that is left on my near-bald head. Jack Ma really looks like Mickey Mouse, in appearance and in character. Need I say more about Mickey Mouse? Yes, I should describe what Mickey means to me. My dear Mickey never ages. Mickey is always clever and loved, especially by Minnie Mouse. But quite honestly, Mickey is loved by everyone all over the world. So, seriously, I am praising Jack Ma of Alibaba to the highest level of achievement, second to none. So I rest my case.

The First Time I Saw And Heard Of Jack Ma

The first time I saw and heard of Jack Ma was many years ago when I watched a program called “Up Close” on CCTV. CCTV is China Central Television, the premium television broadcaster in China, transmitting in numerous languages globally. This particular channel was in English. Fancy a Chinese tv channel in China, broadcasting in English, with a Chinese interviewing another Chinese in English, and viewed all over the world. One would never imagine this would ever happen 30 years ago! How much China has progressed; staggering! “Up Close” is a 30-minute one-on-one interview program, with a life audience. Just like the “Oprah Winfrey Show”.

Jack Ma The Maverick Entrepreneur

Today, everyone knows Jack Ma, as much as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Jack Ma, the Chinese maverick entrepreneur. Jack Ma’s real Chinese name is Ma Yun. “Ma” is the surname, as the Chinese place the surname first. The Chinese characters are馬雲 (traditional characters) or马云 (simplified modern characters). Although “Ma” is the surname, the meaning is “horse”. And “Yun” means “cloud”. You can imagine an energetic horse galloping through the clouds!

Jack Ma was born on 10 September, 1964; that will make him 51 this year, 2015. His estimated income is US$30 billion, making him the richest man in China, relegating the second richest to a position far down below. On the global scale, Jack Ma ranks number 18.

Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Of course he held the top positions in the company. However, Jack Ma is slowly divesting himself from the Alibaba conglomerate. In 2013, Jack Ma stepped down as CEO of Alibaba Group. Looks like he wants to spend more time and energy in philanthropy undertakings. Good on him.

Alibaba IPO Listing On NYSE


A Little Bit About Alibaba, The Company

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is the holding company of a number of e-commerce companies mainly in China. Today, “Alibaba” has expanded into a global e-business website, virtually doing business 24/7 worldwide, dealing with everything under the sun!. Actually Alibaba does not sell anything, but merely act as sales intermediary via web portals for “consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business” sales interactions. Alibaba then earns commission and advertising fees from these activities.

Alibaba boasts of having more than 100 million visitors on its websites every day. At closing time, on the date of Alibaba’s IPO in the NYSE, on 19 September, 2014, its market value was at US$231 billion.

A Little Bit About Alibaba, The Name

It is fascinating how the name “Alibaba” was chosen by Jack Ma. It was in San Francisco , one day in a coffee shop, when Jack Ma came up with the name “Alibaba” and he asked the waitress whether she knew anything about “Alibaba”. The answer was “Yes, open sesame!” Then Jack Ma stopped people along the street and asked the same question, and he received the same answer, “Open Sesame”! And “Open Sesame” indeed, to the treasure trove of e-commerce!

Jack Ma’s foresight was extraordinary that he even registered the name “Alimama”, in his own words, “in case someone wants to marry us!”

A Little Bit More About Jack Ma, The Person

Jack Ma is much much greater than his physical size, some even called him an elf. What an insult, except one compliment, that an elf has magical power. And Jack Ma certainly has magical power, simply because he is a magical maverick and an entrepreneurial genius, always able to think and see outside the box, and always ahead of others. That is what made Jack Ma what he is today. His achievements and awards are too long to list here. Let me put below 10 most salient points of Jack Ma’s achievements and adventurer’s life:

  1. At an early age, he already realized the importance of the English language for international trade and communication. So without waiting to be taught English, he learned it the most practical way. Every day he would cycle 45 minutes to the nearest hotels to offer free tour guides to English-speaking foreign tourists. That was how Jack Ma learned his English.
  2. Later, in 1988, he graduated with a bachelor degree in English, and subsequently became an English lecturer at the Hangzhou Dianzi University.
  3. Jack Ma encountered a computer for the first time at the ripe old age of thirty-three, and never knew anything about the computer, let alone the internet.
  4. In 2004, Jack Ma was chosen by CCTV (China Central Television) and its viewers as one of the “top 10 Business Leaders of the Year”. And in 2009, CCTV awarded Jack Ma as the “2009 CCTV Economic Person of the Year : Business Leaders of the Decade”.
  5. In 2005, the World Economic Forum selected Jack Ma as a “Young Global Leader”.
  6. The same year, in 2005, Jack Ma was named by Fortune, as one of the “25 Most Powerful Business People in Asia”.
  7. Business Week honoured Jack Ma as the “Business Person of the Year, 2007”, and later in 2009, as one of “China’s Most Influential People”.
  8. Twice, once in 2009 and again in 2014, Time magazine, included Jack Ma into the Time 100 List of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People”.
  9. In 2009, Forbes China selected Jack Ma as one of the “Top 10 Most Respected Entrepreneurs in China”, and the following year in 2010, Forbes Asia awarded Jack Ma the title, “One of Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy” for his immense contributions to disaster relief and poverty. And in 2014, Jack Ma was ranked the 30th most powerful person in the world.

10. Jack Ma got his English name from a lady tourist who had difficulty in pronouncing his name. So she called him “Jack”, as her husband and father were also named Jack.

Jack Ma’s Two Misadventures That Made Him All The More Famous

There were two misadventures that made Jack Ma more famous albeit for the wrong reasons.

1. Harvard University rejected Jack Ma’s entry applications 10 times.

2. KFC also rejected Jack Ma’s job application. To add insult to injury, Jack Ma was the only one in his group who got rejected by KFC.

And this is my personal proposals to honor Jack Ma with two grand “awards”. Invite Jack Ma to be the Chancellor of Harvard University, and offer him the CEO post of KFC! That will be finger licking good, so good!

Copyright © Justin Choo. All Rights Reserved.

Exclusive interview with Jack Ma on Alibaba’s market debut

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