How did Jack Ma start?

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Jack Ma is a Chinese entrepreneur who was the head of the Alibaba Group which includes the most famous Chinese websites such as the business-to-business marketplace Alibaba.com and Taobao.com. He was born on September 10, 1964, in Hangzhou Zhejiang province, China.

One of the first interests of Ma is to learn the English language.

He used to work as a tourist guide for foreigners in Hangzhou. Though he failed twice in the entrance examination to Hangzhou Teachers College, Ma was finally admitted on his third try. He finished a bachelor’s degree in English in the said school in 1988. He then taught English at Hangzhou Institute of Electronics and Engineering from 1988 until 1993. Afterward, Ma had become interested in the Internet and websites business opportunities.

Key Timeline of Jack Ma’s Business Career

  • In 1994, he started his first English translation company, Haibo, Translation Agency.
  • After his trip from the United States in 1995, he founded China Pages where he started websites for Chinese businesses as well as one of the first internet companies in China.
  • Ma used to be the head of an internet company in Beijing which was connected with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. However, he left the position and persuaded his team to return to Hangzhou to start the Alibaba Group.
  • Alipay was created in 2003 to serve as a third party to build confidence in online sales. In the same year, Taobao.com was established as a consumer-to-consumer marketplace.
  • In 2014, he founded the Ant Group as a parent group of Alipay.

About the author

Pieter Borremans

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