Ma, Jack

Ma, Jack,

1964–, Chinese business executive and on-line retailing pioneer, whose Chinese name is Ma Yun (mä yün). He taught English at Hangzhou Institute of Electronics and Engineering (now Hangzhou Dianzi Univ.; 1988–93), then founded the Haibo Translation Agency (1994). After a 1995 trip to the United States during which he became interested in the Internet, he began creating websites for small businesses in China. He was head (1998–99) of an Internet company in Beijing, then cofounded (1999) Alibaba, an online marketplace for businesses, in Hangzhou. The Alibaba Group subsequently became one of the world's largest e-commerce and Internet companies; its subsidiaries and affiliates include Taobao, an e-commerce website similar to eBay, and the Ant Group, a financial services company that originated with Alipay, an online payment service similar to PayPal. Ma stepped down as Alibaba's CEO in 2013 and as its executive chairman in 2019; he remains a member of the partnership that appoints a majority of the group's directors. Ma's criticism in 2020 of Chinese regulators and of government domination of the banking sector led regulators to scrutinize Alibaba and Ant.


See D. Clark, Alibaba (2016).

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