Who does not know about the largest internet-based company, Alibaba? But little do people know about the founder, Jack Ma. Today we will talk about the technology giant and the richest man of China, Mr. Jack Ma.
Born on 15 October 1964, Jack Ma is a self-made billionaire with a current worth of about 44.3 billion UD dollars. He belonged to a humble background and started his business from scratch. He did not only handle the failures in his educational life but faced many rejections in his professional life, as well. After all his rejections and failures, he paved his way in becoming the cofounder of the largest internet-based company, Alibaba. And just for your knowledge, Alibaba holds more value than Facebook, and even more than Amazon and eBay. Not only this, he is the first Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes.
No doubt, his life is an inspiration for the people who are facing failures in their lives. Want to know more about him? Then here are ten things you didn’t know about the cofounder of the largest internet company, Mr. Jack Ma.
1.Jack started his career as an English teacher
Image Source: CNBC.com
As we told you earlier, Jack belonged to a humble background, and his parents did not make enough to pay for his school fee. Though Jack was not really good in his studies and failed initial exams two times. Still, he always wanted to learn English by any mean. He started giving free tours to foreigners in a nearby tourist place. This made him fluent in English. After getting rejected from many jobs in his professional life, his fluency in English helped him taking the spot of an English Teacher at $12 per month.
2.Jack Had Intimate Experience With Rejection And Failure
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Like most of the successful people who were intelligent enough to pave their ways in different fields, Jack was not a good student. In an interview, he said,
“I failed a key primary school test two times. I failed the middle school test three times. I failed the college entrance exam two times.”
He was also got rejected by Harvard University ten times. Not only this, he failed the entrance exam of the higher university two times. Later, he took admission in Hangzhou University and received a bachelor’s degree in English.
3.Jack Was Not Having Any Clear Goals
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After his graduate degree from Hangzhou University, Jack was not sure what he wanted to do with his life. He was not having any specific plans for the future, so he started finding a job in random firms. And when he got rejected form more than 30 different firms, he started applying for a variety of unique positions, like policemen and waiters. In an interview, he said,
“When KFC came to China in our city, 24 people went for the job – 23 got accepted. The only one rejected was me.”
4.He Used Computer For The First Time In The Age Of 31
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This is true! Although Alibaba is a technology-driven company, Ma is not accurately a technology expert. The first time he stepped in into the technological world is during a trip to Seattle as an interpreter. This trip changed his life, as he used the internet for the first time. He typed ‘beer’ as his first world to search on the internet. The internet changed him entirely so, he decided that whatever he was going to do in the future has to be about the internet.
5.Jack’s First entrepreneurial venture Was A Complete Flop
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On his return to China, Jack started his first company of making websites by the name China Yellow Pages. He opened this company after borrowing $2,000 from his friends. Just like his other life failures, this company also ended in losses. Jack left the company and started a job in China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
6.Jack Announced The Idea Of Alibaba In Videotape
Image Source: reuters
According to Jack, he really wanted to bring the internet to China. His first attempt to propagate the internet failed as China Yellow Pages. But that did not beat his faith. And in 1999, he came up with another idea of making an eCommerce platform, Alibaba, for small- and medium-sized businesses. He shared this idea in a videotape with his 18 friends and raised about $60,000 for his company.
7.Jack Was Kidnapped In United States
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Jack made his first trip to the United States when he was helping his Chinese friend in recovering money from an American Businessman. When Jack asked for the money, he was threatened by the businessman and was locked up for two days in the house. What happened next seems more like a script of any Hollywood movie. The two went to Las Vegas, and after sometimes, the businessman got busy somewhere, and Jack Ma got a chance to escape. The story does not end here, because jack was not having enough money for his return ticket. He gambled his last couple of dollars and earned $600, which was enough for him to buy the plane ticket for China.
8.Jack field-tested the name Alibaba on the streets of San Francisco
Image Source: Medium
Jack was inspired by the story of the poor carpenter Ali Baba in the folktale series One Thousand and One Nights. But to make this sure that people know about this story, he asked random people about Alibaba on the streets of San Francisco. After confirming this, he picked ‘Alibaba’ for his company. As it was famous, easy to pronounce, and will be on the top because of the letter ‘A’ in it.
9.Jack Is A Performer At Heart And Love Showbiz
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The third most valuable man of China loves the limelight. He never felt shy to act at any event of his company. He was often seen performing and singing pop songs during the anniversaries of Alibaba. Jack performed ‘The Lion King’ on stage and had also worn a Michael Jackson getup and rocked on the pop songs with a group of backup dancers.
His fictional idol is Forrest Gump, and according to Jack, they share a similar feeling. Both did not do so well in school but flourished in adulthood. During an interview, Jack told,
“I have been watching that movie about 10 times. Whenever I am frustrated, I watch the movie. I even watched the movie before I came to New York.”
10. Jack Loves Martial Art
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This multitalented CEO loves martial art and has been practicing Tai Chi on a regular base. He often hires Tai Chi masters not only to give him the classes but for his staff as well. In fact, he made the attendance of the staff mandatory in Tai Chi classes.
Last but not least, his love for martial arts takes him to the screens. He has been starred alongside martial arts experts Jet Li and Donnie Yen in some movies. One of his films is Gongshoudao, which means “The Art of Attack and Defence.”