Alibaba's office in Binjiang district, Hangzhou.
Alibaba Group operates in multiple Internet-based businesses that cover business-to-business online marketplaces, retail and payment platforms, shopping search engines and data-centric cloud computing services. In July 2012, Alibaba Group divided its core businesses into seven divisions: Alibaba International, Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing and Taobao Juhuasuan (Deal-of-the-Day).
Alibaba Group was founded in 1999 by Chinese Internet pioneer Jack Ma. Ma believed that the internet could become a popular and stable tool to serve the public. The privately-held company now serves over 240 countries and areas. It has more than 24,000 staff members in over 70 cities in Greater China, India, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US.
Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group.
Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group
Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, Ma Yun in Chinese, is one of the major founders of the Alibaba Group. He is the chairman and CEO of the group. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes Magazine and was also honored as a Future Global Leader by the publication. He now serves as the chairman of Yahoo! China and board member of Huayi Brothers Media. He is also the chair of the Alibaba Business College at Hangzhou Normal University, where Ma graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
Ma initially failed the National College Entrance Exam twice, but later became a guest speaker for many top universities such as Tsinghua, Peking University, Harvard and Stanford. He has failed in business many times but is regarded as the “Godfather of business pioneering”, encouraging many young people to start businesses. Despite his initial lack of knowledge in internet and IT technology, he and his team built one of the world‘s biggest online business sites. He is one of the icons in the Chinese internet industry.
In addition to business success, Ma is also a devoted philanthropist. He appealed to society to pay attention to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and also provided assistance for SMEs during the SARS and global financial crisis. Ma also cares deeply about environmental protection and is the first Chinese person on the board of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).