Ma was born in China in 1964 .His parents were musicians and story tellers. He was keen to learn English and guided some tourists to improve his English. At his young age he failed university entrance exam twice.
attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He entered the business by developing web sites for Chinese companies. In April 1995, Ma, his wife and a friend collected twenty thousand dollars and started an Internet company. Their company was dedicated to create a website for companies. They named it as China Yellow Pages.
Then he entered e commerce area in 1998-99 and decided to quit his job to build giant e commerce platform Alibaba alone with a group of 17 friends. Since then it grew as world’s largest e commerce platform and Ali Baba’s IPO was the biggest in the history.