Alibaba is to the People’s Republic of China what Amazon is to the USA. Alibaba was founded on 4th April, 1999, by a perennial failure named Jack Ma and his 17 close friends, who scraped together just US$80,000 from 80 small investors to start what was possibly a Third Revolution for China. Alibaba was China’s first online marketplace for Chinese companies. Today, the Revenue from Alibaba has topped US$56 Billion, with a Net Income of US$12 Billion. Jack Ma himself became the richest man in China, with a personal worth that exceeds US$47 Billion on Nov. 19, 2019. All this acquired in a span of just Twenty Years or less. And this is what makes the story of the History And Growth Of Alibaba so fascinating to follow.
Who is Jack Ma?
In a sense, the story of Alibaba is the story of Jack Ma. It is the story of a man who never gave up, whose herculean efforts are now legendary. Even during the beginning of his childhood days, he had failed in his exams for Primary School, twice. During his Middle School exams, he failed three times. Entrance Exams to Universities were failed thrice. He wrote and applied Ten times to Harvard University, only to be rejected every time. Finally, he joined Hangzhou Normal University and did his Bachelor’s degree in English. Then came a protracted period, when he desperately tried to land a decent job, failing each time. Typically, KFC rejected his application, after accepting 23 other candidates. Even the Police Force refused him 5 times. But Jack could not be stopped. Even failing in two of his early Entrepreneurial Enterprises failed to damp the Spirit of Jack Ma. Overcoming his obstacles was second nature to him by now, and in 1995 he finally visited the US, for a Govt Project on Highway Building. In the US, he first came in contact with the Internet. He realized that while China’s economy was burgeoning on all aspects, the Internet Market was being sadly neglected. Ever the Dreamer, Jack Ma decided to change the scales of balance in his own country’s favor.
Alibaba began life as an eCommerce startup after Jack managed to convince 17 of his friends to join him in 1999. Trust was the key. Jack managed to build trust in the Chinese people on an Online System that promised Online Delivery of Packages and Payment, purely based on trust. Investment was still low, but at the age of 31, Jack Ma was on his way. All this was without knowing anything about computers or the Online, or ever selling any goods or services. Without a cent in external investments, only the US$80,000 they had scraped together initially from around 80 small investors, operating just from Jack’s Hangzhou apartment as an office, Alibaba took off like a space rocket to the skies. SoftBank invested US$20 Million. Then another investment of US$5 Million was made by Goldman Sachs. Alibaba now had more or less captured the Chinese Market, having seen off biggies like Amazon already. The never failing courage and optimism of Jack Ma’s personage rubbed off on the now vast organization, as well as the courtesy of all members of this fraternal company. Alibaba was now ready to look outside China for more business.
Reaching For The Stars
Alibaba now expanded across the globe, rapidly shedding the China shell, and venturing on to center-stage in the USA itself. With total assets of US$144 Billion, Alibaba has been welcomed with open arms by Wall Street, and regularly feature in Sensex, Nikkei, Dow Jones and all major Share markers, along with Sensei. As far as online traffic their ecommerce assets rival even the largest source of online traffic which of course is adult sites (click here). The fact that adult dating sites and other adult content is rivaled by high converting ecommerce destinations is astounding.
In Charge On Top
Alibaba is not just China’s largest online eCommerce Company, it is on certain measures the World’s biggest. There are literally hundreds of millions of users on their roles. The Empire is divided into three sites: Alibaba.com, Tmall, and Taobao. Together, they handle more businesses than any other eCommerce company in the World. Incidentally, Taobao City is the main corporate campus for Alibaba Group, at Xixi, Handzhou. The History And Growth Of Alibaba can be summed up very simply, in Jack Ma’s own words: “We keep fighting. We keep changing. We don’t complain.”