April 8, 2020
Jack Ma: From KFC Reject to Asia’s Richest Man

Jack Ma: From KFC Reject to Asia’s Richest Man


(lighthearted music) Jack Ma is Asia’s richest man and most recognizable business tycoon. He’s the chairman of Alibaba. China’s E-commerce giant and one of the 10 largest
companies in the world. Yet he still wants more. We know where we’re going, we want to be the fifth largest economy. Big words from the man some
call Asia’s Jeff Bezos. He’s confident, he’s charismatic and he’s definitely not the average CEO. ♪ Can you feel the love tonight ♪ This is how a poor school teacher went from the classroom, to being one of the most influential
multi-billionaires in the world. (lighthearted music) Ma was born in China’s southeastern
city, Hangzhou, in 1964. His parents were traditional
musician storytellers. As a teenager, he started to learn English from foreign tourists, after China opened up in the late 1970’s. And then for nine years, Jack Ma, hung around outside the Hangzhou Hotel, which is now called the Shangri-La. He would get up at five a.m. to talk to travelers. That’s Bloomberg Technology
reporter, Lulu Chen. And I cover China
internet for Bloomberg. Ma failed China’s National University entrance exam twice before being admitted to
Local Teachers College. He graduated in 1988. He applied for 30 jobs and got rejected. Including from the fast food giant, KFC. When KFC come to China, (crowd laughing) 24 people went for the job. 23 people were accepted,
I was the only one guy. Then Ma got a job at a local university and taught English there
for about five years earning just $15 dollars a month. On the side he started
a translation company with several friends. During a company trip to the U.S. in 1995, Ma had his first encounter
with the internet, at a friend’s place in Seattle. I searched the first word, beer. (crowd laughing) I don’t why, because easy to spell, maybe. And I see beers from Germany, beers from U.S.A, beers from Japan. But there’s no beer from China. So he searched for the word China instead and still couldn’t find anything. And that got him thinking, he wanted to build something that would put China on the world’s map. He started China Pages, a Yellow Pages like website,
but it didn’t take off. Then Ma joined a government agency in Beijing to help set up a website. (energetic music) By 1999, the internet stock boom had gripped Wall Street. And back in his Hangzhou apartment, Ma decided to try again. With his wife and a group of friends, Ma raised $80,000 dollars, and set up Alibaba, a site
that allowed businesses to sell stuff to each other. (speaking excitedly in a foreign language) (upbeat music) By 2000, Alibaba had
raised $25 million dollars from investors, including
Goldman Sachs and SoftBank. He had no business plan and zero revenue, but his eyes were very strong. Strong eyes. (laughing) In 2003, Alibaba started Taobao, a platform for individual sellers to trade with each other and publicly declared war against eBay, who had started to make
a foray into China. Jack Ma has this famous saying that Alibaba is a crocodile
in the Yangtze River, whereas eBay is a shark in the ocean. And if they fight eBay in the ocean then they’ll lose, but if they fight them
in the Yangtze River then they have a home base advantage. (upbeat music) In 2007, just one year after it forced eBay out of China, Alibaba debuted its
business-facing division on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. But it delisted five years later, as its performance sagged. (bells chiming) (crowd yelling) In 2014, Alibaba raised
$25 billion dollars in the world’s biggest IPO in New York. Everybody should have a dream. What if that dream comes true? After achieving dominance in the business of E-commerce in China, Alibaba has been building an internet empire worth
$472 billion dollars with businesses in cloud computing, online video streaming, movie production, healthcare, sports, retail,
and even news media. Alibaba buying into
South China Morning Post really raised eyebrows. This is the largest English
newspaper in Hong Kong. And it shows that Jack Ma’s ambitions weren’t limited to E-commerce. He wanted to influence,
not just Chinese users, but also overseas users, as well. (upbeat music) The U.S. has criticized Alibaba for allowing companies to sell counterfeit and poorly made goods. But in China, it enjoys the favor of China’s government. It’s part of Ma’s company philosophy. In love with the government, but don’t marry with them. Jack Ma is an extremely fortunate man for jumping on the
internet sector so early. Note that this is a person who has no coding skills at all. He’s a natural showman
and a gifted public speaker, and really able to convince others to believe in his vision. Ma’s vision of growing Alibaba to be the world’s fifth largest economy faces strong competition
at home and abroad. It will require more than just
naked ambition and charisma. But Ma is great at getting himself in the right place at the right time. So far it’s served him well. (successful music)

100 thoughts on “Jack Ma: From KFC Reject to Asia’s Richest Man

  1. Jack Ma : *Wants to employ as a KFC worker.
    KFC : NO
    Jack Ma : *Becomes one of the richest man in the world.
    KFC : Suprised pikachu face.

  2. And he forces his workers work from 9AM to 9PM, 6 days a week, although the law states the maximum to be 8h per day. Damn fxxking capitalist, fake socialism law.

  3. No comments on jack ma's shady links with the Chinese government eh?
    No comment on how you actually are investing in a holding company instead of alibaba group itself?

  4. Why do we keep admiring filthy rich people for their success when over half of the world lives in absolute poverty?

  5. 跳跃在咆哮的鹦鹉
     PENIX AJJAAJ的三年和一个PENIENCE PENI
    Tiàoyuè zài páoxiāo de yīngwǔ
     PENIX AJJAAJ de sān nián hé yīgè PENIENCE PEN

  6. Lived in shanghai for a year…omg i miss Taobao so much…it was the best app in the world..get anything you need…

  7. If only he was accepted, he would be working 9 to 5 job with a salary of $2.5/hour.

  8. In the PRC, they know they have the same sickness of individualism that afflicts the West. They struggle against shadow finances, the threat of Capitalist take-over.

  9. He's a Chinese Communist Party member. That's how you become successful in China. There are a lot of people in China who made online retail websites. He has corrupt ties, that's it.

  10. Jack Ma could buy over KFC if he still wanna work there! Alibaba market cap is around US400 billion & KFC market cap is around US117 billion.

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