There are some superstars in Chinese web. Pony Ma who created Tencent and Robin Li who built Baidu, are great Chinese entrepreneurs, but some people still question about them and remind us of the ICQ and Google. Kaifu Lee probably is another one as he has millions of Chinese students fans. Lee is indeed a great educator and has become an international icon. But we have to think of a simple fact that he never led a Chinese local company. In my humble opinion, there is probably only one figure here in China web, and this man is, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba (check out our coverage on the history of Alibaba).
I am reading a great article written by my friend James Cheng published on a popular magazine The Founder. I don’t want to translate the whole article here, instead, I attached the following diagram from the article (I revised it since it is originally with Chinese caption) that should be enough to explain the reason that I believe Jack Ma is the ONE.
The diagram demonstrate the Alibaba’s Cloud Service, which is for me, Jack Ma’s Kingdom.
Through this diagram, you probably can feel Jack Ma is looking at every corner of the Internet industry. Taobao is the e-commerce (and around Taobao, recently more effort is spent on its own SNS, open platform etc); Alipay solves the online payment; Koubei (Yelp-like service) is building an active online community; Aliwangwang, the Instant Messenger helps you to communicate with the seller, the customers and friends; Alisoft is the SaaS platform, and strong partnership with third parties and the government help on the logistics, setting up offline stores, branding etc. Also note that, this diagram does not include the Yahoo China (a portal, although it’s not that hot right now) and it’s strategy on mobile (Ed: Taobao branded mobile phone is coming).
From online to offline, from e-commerce making lots of money to web2.0 gathering millions of users, from wired to wireless, Jack Ma, an English teacher, definitely has seen the trend that the majority of Chinese entrepreneurs have not seen.