Jack Ma Net Worth: 5 Quick Facts

Jack Ma

Jack Ma’s net worth is $22.0 billion.

(Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

Jack Ma is a Chinese Internet entrepreneur. He is the founder of China Yellowpages, which, founded in 1995, was the first Internet company ever established in China. He is also the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA), a Chinese e-commerce that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business services via web portals.


You’ll be surprised to learn how Alibaba came to light. Here are five interesting facts about Jack Ma.

1. Jack Ma’s Net Worth is $22.0 Billion

At the age of 51, Jack Ma has a net worth of $22.0 billion, which makes him the 33rd richest person in the world and the second richest person in China. (Source: ibid.)

2. Alibaba Was the Biggest IPO Ever

After claiming the record for the largest U.S. initial public offering, Alibaba became the world’s largest IPO on September 22, 2014. Underwriters exercised an option to purchase shares at the $68.00 IPO price, which increased the total amount raised from $21.8 billion to $25.0 billion. The IPO boosted Ma’s net worth by $16.0 billion and made him the richest person in China at the time. (Source: Chen, L., Mac, R., and Solomon, B., “Alibaba Claims Title For Largest Global IPO Ever With Extra Share Sales,” Forbes, September 22, 2014; http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2014/09/22/alibaba-claims-title-for-largest-global-ipo-ever-with-extra-share-sales/#79563a3a7c26.)

3. He Failed Many Times

Ma got rejected many times early in his career. He applied to as many as 30 different jobs and was turned down for each one.

“I failed a lot,” Ma said. “So, I applied to 30 different jobs and got rejected. I went for a job with the police; they said, ‘You’re no good.’ I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy…” (Source: Rose, C., “Charlie Rose Talks to Alibaba’s Jack Ma,” Bloomberg Business, January 29, 2015; http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-29/alibaba-s-jack-ma-on-early-obstacles-his-ambitions.)

Ma also said that he was rejected 10 times by Harvard University and cites Forrest Gump as his hero for “never giving up.” (Source: Clements, L., “Jack Ma: Alibaba founder reveals 9 amazing facts about his life,” Yahoo! Finance, January 26, 2015; https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/jack-ma-s-reveals-9-amazing-facts-about-his-life-133217004.html.)

4. “Beer” Was the First Word He Searched on the Internet

In 1995, Ma went to the U.S. and used the Internet for the first time. His first search word was “beer,” and he noticed that no results came up relating to China. He also searched for general information about China and was surprised to find none, so he decided to set up a web site related to China. (Source: ibid.) Thus the seed for Alibaba was planted.

5. He Started Alibaba in His Apartment

In 1999, Ma gathered 18 people in his apartment and spoke to them about his vision for an e-commerce company. (Source: Fannin, R., “How I Did It: Jack Ma, Alibaba.com,” Inc., January 1, 2008; http://www.inc.com/angelina-zimmerman/the-top-7-skills-wealthy-people-have-mastered.html.) Ma said that he was able to raise $60,000 from the meeting. He said he chose the name “Alibaba” because it was a global name that was easy to spell, and people associated it with “Open, Sesame,” which is the command Ali Baba used to open the door to a hidden cave housing treasures in One Thousand and One Nights. (Source: ibid.)

Jack Ma’s Net Worth

Year Net Worth
2016 $27.5 billion
2015 $22.7 billion
2014 $19.5 billion
2013 $7.1 billion
2012 $3.4 billion
2011 $1.3 billion

(Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, last accessed March 8, 2016.)