A former English teacher, Jack Ma became the richest man in China by leading Alibaba to a $25 billion IPO this year. The e-commerce giant (which appears on this year's Hot List as Hottest Shopping Site) has a bigger market capitalization than Amazon and eBay combined and plans to expand further by targeting emerging markets while upping its mobile game. Alibaba will soon see its digital wallet system, dubbed Alipay, adopted by American retail chains Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Ann Taylor and Aéropostale. This, as the 50-year-old boss and his team created the Chinese equivalent to Cyber Monday with Singles Day, a 24-hour digital shopping event for the unwed. Held on Nov. 11, it produced a record-breaking $9 billion in sales for Alibaba. Already sky high, expect Ma's star to only continue rising.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma is Adweek’s 2014 Media VisionaryLed China’s e-commerce giant to a $25 billion IPO
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