Skip to main content
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Jack Ma: CEO, the Alibaba Group

  • Story Highlights
  • Ma founded China's first Internet-based company in 1995
  • He was also head of the information department of the CIECC
  • Since 1999 he has been at the head of the Alibaba Group
  • He is considered one of the most important figures on the Web
  • Next Article in World Business »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Until 1995, Jack Ma had never touched a computer. Today he is China's best known Internet entrepreneur and the force behind e-commerce company Alibaba.

Under Jack Ma's leadership, the Alibaba Group now operates five companies.

In 1995 he founded China Pages, the first Internet-based company in China. He then accepted an invitation from China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) to head the information department of the China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC.)

In March 1999, Jack and his team of 18 founders launched from his Hangzhou apartment, with a dream of making business easier for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Under Jack's leadership, the Alibaba Group has expanded from its roots as a global B2B Web site and now operates five companies with leading positions in e-marketplaces ( and Taobao), search (Yahoo! China), online payment (Alipay) and business software (Alisoft.)

Jack steered Alibaba's acquisition of Yahoo! China in October 2005, one of the most high profile M&A deals in China in recent years, and was the principal driver behind the creation of Taobao, Alipay and Alisoft.

Today, the e-marketplace he helped found is the world's largest B2B e-commerce Web site, and the Alibaba Group employs more than 5,000 people, serving millions of businesses and consumers around the world.


In 2001, he was chosen by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader" and in 2004 he was selected by China Central Television (CCTV) and its viewers as one of the "Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year."

He has been named as one of the "25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia" by FORTUNE in 2005, ranked 15th among "50 Who Matter Now" by Business 2.0 in 2006, and listed as one of the "50 Most Important People on the Web" by PC World in 2007. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print