Ma Yuns switch of focus: from business that has never been difficult to do to concern about desert and education

 Ma Yuns switch of focus: from business that has never been difficult to do to concern about desert and education

Over the past 20 years, this knight-errant with deep cheekbones, twisted hair and naughty grinning has stirred up retail markets in China and even around the world. Ma Yun loved knight-errant since childhood. He was an absolute fan of Jin Yong. He also brought knight-errant complex into Alibaba, which he founded first. For example, the flower name system in Alibaba was derived from Mr. Jin Yongs knight-errant novels. Ma Yuns flower name Fengqing Yang is a character in Xiaoao Jianghu. It is Zhang Yongs flower name Xiaoyao Zi, who succeeds the chairman of the board of directors, that comes from Tianlong Babu.

When it comes to Seattle, people think of Microsoft and Boeing; when it comes to New York, people think of IBM, hoping that one day when people talk about Hangzhou, they think of Alibaba. In 2000, Ma Yun spoke publicly at a forum.

Today, Alibaba has already transformed from an e-commerce company in Hangzhou into a world-wide Internet presence, and Ma Yuns long-standing aspiration is also becoming a reality.

In the past, Ma Yuns focus was on Ali and no hard business in the world. In the future, he would care about air and water, desert and education. It will be a true portrayal of him when he leaves office.

Ma Yun Photo Source: Alibaba Group Official Website

Twenty Years of Wind and Rain

The wind rises at the end of the green duckweed. In 1995, Ma Yun, known as the best English in Hangzhou, was entrusted to the United States to collect a debt. Although he didnt get the money at last, he came into contact with the Internet, which gave birth to the idea of entrepreneurship.

In April 1995, Ma Yundian paid 7,000 yuan, gathered 20,000 yuan with his family and friends, founded Haibo Network, one of the earliest Internet companies in China, and launched the Yellow Page Project in China, trying to sell Chinese goods abroad, but it ended in failure for various reasons.

On the night of leaving Beijing, Ma Yun said sadly, Everything has to start from scratch. It doesnt matter if it fails. At least I told people a concept. If I dont succeed, someone will succeed. But theres one thing I hope the Chinese people will succeed sooner rather than later.

In 1999, before the end of the Lunar New Year, Ma Yun and his partners started a new round of entrepreneurship in a set of unfurnished houses in the lakeside garden community in the western suburbs of Hangzhou. This time, they will create an e-commerce website for small and medium-sized enterprises, Alibaba.

It was in such a humble environment that Alibaba held its first shareholdersmeeting, which Ma Yun talked for three hours. However, when the advanced concepts such as listed companies and network community are sounded in the blank room, people always feel a kind of paradise.

One detail is enough to illustrate the hardship of entrepreneurship at that time. A lad with a box of lunch looked inside and muttered, I didnt think there was a black Internet bar in this place. At that time, the cables in the room were pulled everywhere, and everyone was in a dirty state. In order to prevent cervical spine injuries caused by overnight work in front of computers, many people have carried back the pediatric spinal orthodontic device which was popular in the 1990s. At that time, the price of a good back was about 300 yuan, and the salary of Ali employees was 500 yuan a month.

Ma Yun and several partners (photographed in 1998) Photo Source: Alibaba Groups official website

Ma Yun, whose appearance is not elegant, often speaks surprisingly. Some people say that he is very motivated and good at inspiring morale, others say that he is false and unpredictable, others say that he is just exaggerating.

After being rejected by 37 VC companies in a row, Alibabas change should start with Cai Chongxin, a Canadian Chinese. In 1999, Cai Chongxin, who is in charge of the Asian investment business of Yinruida Group in Sweden, came to Alibaba to discuss investment projects with Ma Yun, and finally failed to negotiate. However, Alibaba attracted Cai Chongxin from an international background. In 1999, Goldman Sachs invested $5 million in Alibaba in the first round with Fidelity Investments. Three months later, Alibaba received another $20 million from Softbank of Japan. A few months later, Cai Chongxin officially joined Alibaba. With his efforts, Alibaba began to operate in a standardized way. Alibaba has set up offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and other places, and began to carry out strategic layout like a multinational enterprise.

In 2000, when the global Internet bubble burst, a large number of Internet companies in China faced a survival crisis. In January 2000, Alibaba accounts for only 7 million dollars. According to the burning rate at that time, Alibaba could only insist on half a year.

Since then, Alibabas development strategy has shifted from overseas expansion to its return to the mainland. Meanwhile, Alibaba has welcomed Guan Mingsheng, a veteran shopkeeper who has worked for General Electric for 15 years. Guan Mingsheng helped Alibaba sort out its values and organizational structure.

By 2001, more than 1 million registered users of Alibaba B2B were registered. In 2002, Alibaba launched the keyword service. For the first time, the company realized positive cash inflow, and the B2B business model of membership fee + value-added service gradually became clear.

In the following years, Alibaba has developed rapidly, and has established a huge business ecosphere. Its business can be roughly divided into five parts: core business, payment and finance, cloud computing, logistics, big entertainment and so on. Among them, the core business sector is Alibabas biggest performance contributor, accounting for about 80% of total revenue; cloud computing performance is more eye-catching, Aliyun has become the third largest IaaS service provider in the world and the first largest in China, with an average annual growth rate of 100%; the status of the large entertainment sector is improving, and the latest organizational rise of Ali. Class I is the first place of the big entertainment.

Its not like Im retired.

Ma Yuns last public event as chairman of the board of directors was the 7th Taobao Village Summit Forum of Taobao Huimin, China, held on August 30 in Huimin County, Shandong Province.

Talk about why this precious last time is left to this forum? Ma Yun said that because rural development is the most important thing in China, he has also been concerned about the development of rural e-commerce.

In two weeks, I will step down as chairman of Alibaba, but that doesnt mean I dont start a business anymore, it doesnt mean I retire! On the morning of August 28, at the Global Womens Entrepreneurship Conference in 2019, Ma Yun suggested that the most important thing for entrepreneurs is to concentrate and take action. The most taboo thing for entrepreneurs is to think about thousands of ways in the evening and get up in the morning and go the same way.

On the issue of inheritance after leaving office, Ma Yun said in an interview with the media: I sat down with our senior managers 10 years ago and asked what would happen if Alibaba did not have me? I am very proud of Alibabas current governance system, corporate culture and continuous talent echelon, allowing me to walk away without causing damage.

Not only at the group level, Alibabas talent training programs for various business departments have already been put on the agenda, from the Alibaba system of the Taiwan strategy, the class committee system and other organizational operations have emerged.

Where will Ma Yun go after he resigns as Chairman of the Board of Directors? The answer was announced a year ago.

Last September 5, Ma Yun appeared at the XIN Public Welfare Congress Education Sub-Forum to share his thoughts on education. Education has always been Ma Yuns most concerned area of public welfare.

At the forum, he said that he would eventually return to the profession of being a teacher and put all his energy and ideas on education in the future.

Ma Yun was admitted to the English Department of Foreign Languages Department of Hangzhou Normal University in 1984. After graduation, he worked as a teacher for six years. He has mentioned on many occasions that Teachers are my favorite profession. Ma Yun explained: As a teacher, I am proficient, but also determined by my personality. I am full of curiosity and imagination about many things.

In fact, this is not the first time that Ma Yun has announced that he will be engaged in education in the future. On May 10, 2013, on the stage of Taobaos 10th anniversary celebration, Ma Yun officially handed over the post of CEO to Lu Zhaoxi. Ma Yun said at that time that he would be engaged in environmental protection and education in the future. Ma Yuns officially certified microblog nickname is also related to teachers, the spokesman for rural teachers, Ma Yun.

A screenshot of Ma Yuns microblog

In the past hundred years, we have taught students knowledge, science and industry, but in the future, what we want to teach our children is about innovation, creativity and constructiveness. How do you do things that machines cant do, or machines cant do things better than human beings? Ma Yun said in the forum that this is the key to education.

According to his own view, he is a restless man, the focus of his future career is to return to his old line of work - teachers.

In recent years, Ma Yun has gradually begun to put his energies into education. Ma Yun never hides his teachers dream. Although he flies more than 800 hours a year and is extremely busy, he will not be absent from the XIN Public Welfare Conference, the Accreditation Meeting for Teachers in Rural Areas, and the Lakeside Lectures every year.

Over the past two years, Ali employees have changed their address to Ma Yun from Master Ma to Teacher Ma, because Ma Yun prefers the term Teacher Ma to the former.

In addition to teachers, Ma Yun will continue to serve as Chairman of Alibaba Poverty Alleviation Fund, founder of Ma Yun Public Welfare Fund and United Nations Special Adviser on Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprises, and continue to strive for the interests of small businesses, young people and entrepreneurs around the world. He is now co-chairman of the United Nations High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

Ma Yun is still Alibabas employee and partner. He has said that he will continue to make efforts and contributions to the Alibaba Partnersorganizational mechanism. I can promise you that Ali never belongs to Ma Yun alone, but Ma Yun will always belong to Alibaba.

Chief Editor: Ning Jiayan

Source: First Financial Responsibility Editor: Yao Liwei_NT6056