Chinese businessman and philanthropist Jack Ma is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of highly successful internet-based businesses. Forbes estimated his net worth to be around $34.9 billion as of October 2018.
Ma was born on 10 September 1964 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. His parents were traditional musician-storytellers. Even though he failed the university exam thrice, he attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1988. He continued is studies at the Beijing-based Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.
Jack Ma started building websites for Chinese companies with assistance from his friends in the US. He founded Alibaba in 1999. He captured the world stage like no other Chinese businessman in 2014 with the record-breaking $25 billion IPO of Alibaba Group in the NYSE.
Ma was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in November 2013. He has audited classes at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a board member of Japan’s SoftBank.
Ma met Zhang Ying when they were studying in Hangzhou Normal University. They married shortly after graduating in the late 1980s. They both started working as teachers. Today the couple has three children, two daughters and a son.