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The Silicon Review Asia

"If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure," says Jack Ma Yun

Born on 10th of September 1964, Jack Ma is one of China’s richest men with a net worth of $42.4 billion (US). He took birth under the name of Ma Yun and later became famous as Jack Ma because his pen pal couldn’t pronounce his name right. So, his pal gave him his name “Jack”. Currently, he is the executive chairman and co-founder of the multinational tech company called Alibaba Group. He is known to be a business idol for many youths and upcoming businessmen.

It all began in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China where he started learning English by having a conversation with English speakers who were at the Hangzhou international hotel. In order to give tours to these foreigners, he would travel 70 miles in a cycle and learned English in the process. This went on for 9 years and his pen pal mentioned earlier was one of those foreigners. Jack Ma Yun had a tough time clearing the yearly exam and spent 4 years cracking it.

Once he did he immediately attended Hangzhou Teachers’ Institute, which is now known as Hangzhou Normal University. He completed B.A in English on 1988and became a lecturer of English and international trade in an institute called Hangzhou Dianzi University. His education venture wasn’t over yet; he later enrolled in Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business and finished it in 2006.

“Today is cruel, tomorrow is crueler and the day after tomorrow will be a sunshine” – Jack Ma Yun

This quote ran down in Jack Ma’s mind when he was rejected by 30 different job profiles. It was only when Jack Ma was introduced to the internet in 1995 that he realized that China was yet to on track as other countries. He then decided to start something new by creating a website that on 9:40 AM and by 12:30 PM he received emails from some Chinese investors who were really interested in his website and wanted to know more. Later the same year Jack Ma, his wife and a friend started their first company calling it “China Yellow Pages” that created websites. By the 3rd year of the business, it made around $800,000.

“You should learn from the competitors, but never copy. Copy and you die” – Jack Ma Yun

With this in mind in 1999, he quit the department of Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and founded Alibaba with his team. The rest went down in history.


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