The story of Jack Ma - head of the Chinese eCommerce giant

eCommerce News & Trends Feb 3, 2023
The story of Jack Ma - head of the Chinese eCommerce giant

We are all social animals who constantly look for fantasy in the actual world to stimulate our imaginations and find inspiration in them. We encounter many strangers every day, but we only look to a select handful of them for inspiration. These individuals stand out because of the tales they have to tell. We find comfort in stories of heroes saving their people and families as children, and we continue to do so today. According to studies, these motivational tales have a beneficial impact on our brains, making us more empathic, giving, and improving our attitude on life in general.

Therefore, let's with Fordeer discuss a story. The life narrative of a man who, essentially alone, has had a significant impact on China's whole eCommerce field. His life is nothing less than the kindergarten-taught tale of Robert, The Bruce, and The Spider. That is the story of Jack Ma.

Who is Jack Ma?

Although the majority of its transactions are generated domestically, Alibaba's e-commerce platforms serve both Chinese and international customers. Taobao, a Chinese consumer-to-consumer website like to eBay, is at the center of it. Chinese consumers can access official storefronts for retailers on Tmall. Alibaba and AliExpress link Chinese companies with customers worldwide.

The e-commerce behemoth Alibaba was founded by Jack Ma, who also owns stock in Alipay, a sibling business that operates an e-payments portal. With an estimated net worth of $25 billion and his company's recent $150 billion IPO filing, he is currently recognized as the richest man in China. Jack Ma only owns a 7.8% stake in Alibaba and a 50% ownership in Alipay in light of all of this. Although Jack Ma and Alibaba are not well-known names outside of China, you should be aware that Alibaba is worth more than Facebook and processes more goods than both eBay and Amazon put together.

Jack Ma - the founder of Alibaba, one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world

This is starting to sound like the story of a privileged, haughty billionaire who has never seen the dark. However, don't be fooled by the figures you can see above; anyone might be misled by them. Despite how straightforward it may seem, Jack Ma has faced several challenges in order to reach his current position. A real "rags to riches" tale that will inspire you even in your lowest moments.

Early life and family background

Jack Ma, a self-made billionaire, was born into poverty. Jack, who was born in Hangzhou, China, always wanted to learn English and started doing so at a young age by testing his language abilities on foreigners who came to a park close to his house.

Jack Ma as a teenager

Ma's family is from China, which fits with his appearance and accent. He is of Asian descent and comes from an eastern Asian family. The business tycoon was nurtured in a lower-class household in Hangzhou, the city of his birth, where he shared a home with his older brother and younger sister. Ma was a thin, carefree child growing up in Hangzhou, and one of his many childhood pastimes was gathering and competing with insects. He also wasn't afraid to pick fights with his friends, even if they were a little bigger than him. However, a particular trait did intellectually set Ma aside from most kids of his age – it was his penchant for learning new things including language.

Schooling and failures

Jack Ma made every effort as a young youngster to learn English. Mark Twain was a favorite author of his, and he took advantage of any chance to practice his English. When he was 12 years old, he thought of a way to practice his English: he rode his bicycle 40 minutes each morning at five o'clock to an international hotel in his city and waited there for travelers. He proposed a deal when he approached them. As a tour guide, he would take them around the city, and in exchange, they would teach him English. He waited outside the hotel day after day, every morning, year after year, even in the snow and rain. He eventually became friends with an Australian family he had met one day.

He was continuously improving his English, but his arithmetic skills were so poor that he only received one out of a possible 120 points on the standardized university entrance exam. He gave it another go and this time managed to score 19 out of 120. His entire performance was so poor that the university rejected him. Even though he acknowledges that Teachers' College was the least prestigious university in his city, he persisted and eventually succeeded in getting accepted.

In 1988, Jack started teaching English at the Hangzhou Dianzi Institution after receiving his undergraduate degree in English from the university, where he was paid USD 12 per month.

Jack Ma - Road to the head of the Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba

His path was significantly shaped by a 1995 trip to Seattle, where a friend first introduced him to the internet. He fell in love with her right away and immediately saw the significance of the internet for the future. He established China Yellow Pages in the same year, but it struggled to make ends meet. He had little money left over after devoting practically all of it to forming the company. The business's workplace was a single space with a workstation and a really outdated PC in the center.

Jack Ma - Road to the head of the Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba

The main issue was that, at the time, his hometown of Hangzhou did not have internet connection. He educated his pals about the internet and persuaded them to hire him to create their websites. As Jack Ma recalls those early years, "I was treated like a con man for three years.”

Ma adjusted his company strategy several times during the ensuing years, blending innovation and tenacity. He established the Alibaba Group in 1999 as a platform for business-to-business e-commerce. At start, nothing was in any way simple. Later, Jack Ma recalled: "The first week, we had seven employees. We do our own buying and selling. On our website, sales began the following week. We bought all they had to offer. For the first two weeks, we had two rooms full of useless rubbish that we had purchased with the intention of proving it worked.

He had huge ideas from the beginning and had high standards for himself. He told a journalist shortly after starting his business: “We don’t want to be number one in China. We want to be number one in the world.” He was so certain of his future success that, in February 1999, he even hired a cameraman to record a meeting in his tiny apartment so that it would be preserved for his company's future records. He asked: “In the next five or ten years, what will Alibaba become?” during the brief meeting. He responded to himself by stating, "Our competition are not in China, but in Silicon Valley... Alibaba should be promoted as a global website.

The story of Jack Ma - head of the Chinese eCommerce giant

Ma attempted to get funding from VCs in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. The investors he met anticipated a thorough business plan from him. However, Jack Ma did not have a business strategy, just like Bloomberg, the Google founders, and countless other great firm founders. “If you plan, you lose. If you don’t plan, you win.”

Unfortunately, Ma's strategy was difficult for the investors to comprehend. He admitted, “We don’t really have a clearly defined business model yet,” he conceded. “ “If you consider Yahoo! a search engine, Amazon a bookstore, eBay an auction center, Alibaba is an electronic market. Yahoo! and Amazon are not perfect models and we’re still trying to figure out what’s best.”

The success of Chinese businessman Jack Ma is a testament to the power of self-belief. Being tenacious in the face of challenges is a distinguishing quality that can help you advance. Furthermore, what distinguishes Jack Ma from his competitors is his capacity to prepare for and accept rejections and failures as chances.

👉 Fordeer, which is a start-up software agency in 2022, is so honored to be founded with the mission of producing support tools for businesses all over the world. “The great tools for the best businesses”. Our highly qualified programming engineers, with all their passion, are always ready to dedicate themselves to creating the most useful apps for your business and Shopify online store.
📌 Fordeer Invoice Order Printer (FIOP) is a Shopify app, which was built as a professional alternative to Shopify Order Printer. With FIOP, you are able to "print" or "download" invoices, packing slips, orders, etc., in bulk and send them to your customers directly. Learn more about app.


Summer N.

A great passion for writing and is thriving day by day. Be patient, persistent, creative, and professional. That's how I am doing, and trying to be a better version of myself.