Nairobi News


Seven things you need to know about Jack Ma

Chinese business magnate, Jack Ma is scheduled to give a public lecture at the University of Nairobi on Thursday.

The founder and executive chairman of the Chinese e-commerce Alibaba Group, who is on a two-day visit in Kenya, will talk to Kenyans at the Chandaria Centre for Performing Arts at the UoN towers starting 2pm.

Here are some interesting facts about Ma:

1. He was ranked as the richest man in Asia and 14th in the world with a fortune valued at Sh4.26 trillion ($41 billion) according to this year’s Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

2. He operates other businesses including Taobao, an online shopping site, Tmall, a platform for companies to open online stores and owns a stake in online payment service Alipay. The Alibaba Group has more than 400 million active buyers on the site and has created 40 million jobs directly and indirectly.

3. He was born in September 1964 to Chinese traditional musician-storytellers and taught himself English at age 12 and started offering free guided tours while practicing his English with US visitors and listening to Voice of America broadcasts.

4. His first job as a school teacher saw him earn Sh1,500 ($15) salary for three years after graduating from 0Hangzhou Teachers College.

5. He stepped down as Alibaba Group CEO on May 10, 2013 but is still the chairman.

6. During an interview with South China’s Morning Post, the tech mogul said he was unhappy being China’s richest man and would one day return to teaching.

7. He was rejected by Harvard 10 times and during an interview with Charlie Rose he said he thinks he should go teach at Harvard.