Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate, investor, politician and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and executive chair of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. As of June 2019, he is one of China’s richest men with a net worth of $35.6 billion, as well as one of the wealthiest people in the world.Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.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.He also serves as a role model for startup businesses.In 2017, he was ranked second in the annual “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list by Fortune. On 10 September 2018, he announced that he will retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work,effective in one year, with Daniel Zhang succeeding him as executive chairman.
Ma was born on 10 September 1964 in the Chinese calendar, 15 October Gregorian calendar, 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.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.While at school, Ma was head of the student council. After graduation, he became a lecturer in English and International Trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University.
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