Long before he became China’s most globally prominent business figure, Jack Ma was just an English teacher trying to convince his friends they would one day buy things over the internet. His vision changed China. As Ma makes plans to leave Alibaba Group Holding next year so he can focus on philanthropy and education, his legacy will be an enduring one. He did far more than create and build an e-commerce juggernaut into the most valuable company in Asia, impressive as that may be. He showed that an innovative private enterprise could thrive under a Communist Party regime once hostile, and still at times suspicious, of ambitious capitalists. To a remarkable degree, his pathbreaking success created a model that gave rise to a technology industry that rivals Silicon Valley, propelling a Chinese economy on track to eclipse that of the U.S. Jack Ma Title: Executive chairman, Alibaba, which he founded in 1999 Age: 53 Education: Hangzhou Teachers College Early job: English teacher Total net worth:$40.3 billion Bloomberg Ma is now China’s richest man, worth about $40 billion, and a headliner at global talking salons like Davos. At the same time, he’s complied with — and fiercely defended — his country’s… Read full this story
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