Jack Ma: where is he from?
Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, China in 1964; the first time he touched a computer, he was a little over 30 years old.
Now, according to Forbes , he is among the 20 richest people in the world and the richest citizen in China.
Jack went to the States as a translator, working for a Chinese company, and he also taught at the university. His monthly salary was only a few tens of dollars.
“When I first touched the computer, I was scared, many Chinese companies did not have them. They were high tech … and very expensive. “
The first thing he did, says Jack Ma, was typing “Chinese beer” in the search tab, but there were no results. He was very surprised at this.
After arriving home, he gathered his friends and invited them to create a company that would help Chinese entrepreneurs sell their goods outside of China using the Internet. But only one friend agreed.
They set up their agency’s website and received five emails in less than 8 hours. It was then that Jack Ma realized the potential of the Internet.
Alibaba is born
In 1999, Ma quit his job and returned to Hangzhou to start Alibaba with 17 friends.
B2b became the initial activity of the group, and its c ross-border segment for the sale of goods from China to other countries – AliExpress , emerged later.
Thus, an eco-system was created that captured the market in all directions, online, offline and even export.
Today, Alibaba is not just an e-commerce company, it is a platform and online network that connects participants in all stages of transactions for the purchase and sale of Chinese goods (from payment to logistics).
Why “Ali Baba”: the history of the name
In 2006, Ma told the story of how he came up with the name “AliBaba”.
He sat in a coffee shop in San Francisco and asked the waiter, “Do you know who Ali Baba is?” To which she replied: “Of course, Sizam, open up.”
Then Ma went outside and started asking random people if they knew who Ali Baba was, everyone said yes: “Indians, Germans, Chinese … they all knew who he was,” Ma says.
“Ali Baba was a polite, intelligent person who helped people, his name is easy to pronounce, and he opened the doors.” It was the perfect name for a platform that aims to connect people and companies for their own benefit.
Alibaba is not just one website, it is a Ma-led business group offering a variety of services:
- Taobao is a commodity marketplace;
- e-Tao – a website for comparing prices for goods;
- AliPay is the Chinese equivalent of Paypal;
- Tmall is a platform for proven large brands (now it also operates in Russia, and Russian brands are also represented there).
The group also has its own financial institution and credit organization – Ant Financial.
What about AliExpress?
Among these services, you can also find our favorite AliExpress . He was born only 9 years ago and is exclusively engaged in retail sales.
Domestic retail accounts for nearly 80% of the Alibaba group’s revenues , while AliExpress accounts for only a small portion. This segment of cross-border sales generates less than 10% of the group’s revenue , but is growing very actively. In Russia, AliExpress competes with Pandao and Joom .
The suppliers using the platform are small or medium-sized Chinese companies, while most of the customers come from foreign countries such as Russia, Israel, Italy, South American countries, England , etc.
This should come as no surprise: AliExpress is looking at international expansion with high hopes and, in order to gain direct access to these markets, it is hiring more foreign employees every day.
By the way, AliExpress invests a lot in the Russian market and sees great potential in it. In addition, while its main competitors in the global arena, such as Amazon and E-Bay, are in no hurry to go to Russia.
Present and future
When Alibaba went public in 2014, the IPO attracted a lot of international attention, with the stock going up 38% on its first day of trading. Then on May 6, 2015, Alibaba surprised everyone again: it surpassed its own record and increased its sales by 45% over the previous year.
And for the 2017-2018 financial year, the company’s revenue increased by 1.5 times.
Alibaba operates such sites as Alibaba Pictures, Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com, Taobao.com, Tmall.com .
The group of companies employs more than 66 thousand people.
Today, Alibaba is among the top 10 companies in the world in terms of capitalization exceeding $ 500 billion. Alibaba’s products and services are used by nearly half a billion active users every year .
AliExpress also has a mobile app . To date, 50 million people have downloaded it.