The founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, Jack Ma may be considered a business leader due to his level of influence and success as an entrepreneur. Jack Ma is a Chinese businessman who owns and runs several businesses, including Alibaba, Taobao and Alipay. He currently serves on the board of SoftBank Corp and a Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He is also chair of The Nature Conservancy’s China board of directors and a member of its global board of directors. In September 2013 he joined the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation as a director. He was further elected to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and this year he was named a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocate by the United Nations. It appears Jack Ma is incredibly busy handling many different responsibilities, however he continues to add to his personal portfolio.
Alibaba is regarded as the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company with a mission to make it easy to do business anywhere. Since its inception, it has provided the technology infrastructure and marketing reach to support businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with millions of customers. Jack Ma’s company has developed leading businesses in consumer e-commerce, online payment and financial services, business-to-business marketplaces, cloud computing, logistics and digital entertainment. Alibaba currently employs more than 30,000 people around the world and has more than 120 offices in China and 29 offices around the world. Jack Ma’s other major company, Taobao, is a popular Chinese equivalent to eBay, with many independent stores listing their products and shipping directly to the customer. Lastly, his venture Alipay is a payment service which includes mobile payments and ePass services for Western brands and retailers to sell to Chinese shoppers.
According to many mainstream media outlets, Jack Ma has ventured into the newspaper business. The newspaper in question, South China Morning Post, has been bought by the Chinese entrepreneur, who has many plans for the paper going forward. According to the paper’s official website, Jack Ma has bought the newspaper and all other media assets from the SCMP group and has pledged to uphold editorial independence and to invest to strengthen the quality of the content. South China Morning Post is the only English-language paper in Hong Kong and may be popular with expats or senior executives or companies in the area. The Board for the SCMP believes the future of traditional publishing continues to change and the value of media business lies in the rich digital media content and the reputation and prestige of its publication titles. In an official document concerning the takeover, the Board highlights the suitability for Jack Ma to take over the company following his successes in his other ventures such as Alibaba.
Jack Ma may be influential in the business world for his entrepreneurial skills and experience. He often speaks at conferences such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and the APEC Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises summits. His company Alibaba, is currently publicly traded on the Stock Exchange and has been since 2007, however the company entered the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. Jack Ma may continue to expand on his business portfolio and move into different industries, as he already appears to be with his move into the Media industry. His progression from an English teacher in China to successful business owner may provide a source of motivation for those aiming to start their own businesses in the future.
Which other entrepreneurs have been influential in their rise to the top?