Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, Ma Yun in Chinese, is one of the major founders of the Alibaba Group, and its chairman and CEO. He was the first entrepreneur in Chinese mainland to appear on the cover of Forbes Magazine and was also honored as a Future Global Leader by the publication. He now serves as the chairman of the General Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs.
Ma initially failed the national college entrance exam twice, but later became a guest speaker for many top universities such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Harvard University and Stanford University. He has failed in business many times but is regarded as the "Godfather of business pioneering", encouraging many young people to start businesses. Despite his initial lack of knowledge in internet and information technology, he and his team built one of the world's biggest online business sites. He is one of the icons in the Chinese internet industry.
Adding to his business success, Ma is also a devoted philanthropist. He appealed to society to pay attention to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and also provided assistance for SMEs during the SARS and global financial crises. Ma cares deeply about environmental protection and is the first Chinese member of the board of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).