Dr Jack Ma is the lead founder and Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group. He holds a BA in English language education from the Hangzhou Teachers Institute.
In 1995, Dr Ma founded China's first online business directory, China Pages. This entrepreneurial experience made him understand the difficulties facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 1999, he led a team to establish Alibaba.com with the goal of helping SMEs succeed.
The Alibaba Group's mission from the start has been "to make it easy to do business anywhere". The company is now the world's largest e-commerce platform and a world-leading big data platform, serving tens of millions of SMEs and entrepreneurs around the globe with technologies such as e-commerce, online financial services, cloud computing and smart logistics.
Having spent six years as a university teacher, Dr Ma is strongly influenced by his past career. In his view, the title of CEO stands for "Chief Education Officer", as CEOs should be responsible for helping their customers and staff become more successful than themselves.
After revolutionising e-commerce in China and around the world, Dr Ma has now committed himself to improving the state of the world through culture, entrepreneurship and education. He has established funding opportunities to support entrepreneurs and young people in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Additionally, the Jack Ma Foundation focuses on philanthropic initiatives in the areas of education, environmental protection, poverty alleviation, and entrepreneurship.
Dr Ma is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and Chairman of the Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce and of the China Entrepreneur Club. He is a Sustainable Development Goals Advocate for the United Nations and a Special Adviser of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business.
In recognition of his contributions to technology, society and the world, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.