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  • Jack Ma is China's richest man, with an estimated worth of $38 billion.

  • The 55-year-old is the cofounder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba.

  • It's China's biggest digital marketplace, responsible for an estimated 80 of all online sales in China.

  • After 20 years at Alibaba, Ma announced in September 2019 he'll be stepping down as executive chairman.

  • But don't worry.

  • The flamboyant businessman is still sitting pretty.

  • Here's how Jack Ma makes and spends his billions.

  • The billionaire is truly self-made.

  • Ma started out as an English teacher, where he made just $12 a month.

  • Harvard University rejected him ten times, and he was turned down for jobs at an estimated 30 companies, including KFC.

  • But with the introduction of the internet, Ma saw an opportunity.

  • And with no tech or business background, he founded Alibaba with the help of 17 friends in 1999.

  • The digital marketplace connected Chinese customers with manufacturers.

  • Alibaba's start was initially rocky, facing the dot-com-bubble burst in 2000, and competition from eBay's Chinese venture, EachNet.

  • But with some help from investments from Yahoo, the company found its feet by the mid-2000s.

  • Then, in 2014, Alibaba went public, in what was the largest IPO in US history.

  • And the sale made Ma the richest man in China.

  • Alibaba rakes in money through the retail site Taobao; the payment-processing service Alipay, of which Ma holds a nearly 50% share; and the popular Chinese social-media site Weibo.

  • But Alibaba doesn't just do e-commerce.

  • Under Ma's leadership, the company now owns the South China Morning Post and even a movie studio that's invested in films such as "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" and "Star Trek Beyond."

  • Since Ma became executive chairman in 2013, Alibaba's revenue has grown by 1,100%.

  • And as of September 2019, the company's market cap has reached $465 billion.

  • And Ma's 5.3% share in Alibaba?

  • Well, it's now worth a cool $24.6 billion.

  • But beyond Alibaba, Ma's income stream is impressively diverse.

  • In 2010, Ma and four associates founded the venture-capital firm Yunfeng to handle much of Ma's personal investing.

  • Ma also has stakes in Yahoo China.

  • With billions in his pocket, you would think he's a big spender, right?

  • Well, not exactly.

  • He drives a humble Roewe RX5 SUV that cost just $15,000.

  • And he doesn't spend much on hobbies, either.

  • It's said he loves meditating, playing poker, and practicing tai chi, a hobby that led him to star in a kung fu film.

  • But if he does splurge, it's in real estate.

  • In 2015, he reportedly bought a house in Hong Kong's most expensive neighborhood for a whopping $191 million.

  • At the time, the purchase broke the record for the most expensive home by square foot in Asia.

  • He also dropped $23 million on a property in New York's Adirondacks.

  • And a year later, he bought a 210-acre vineyard in the south of France.

  • Plus, he still owns the apartment at Lakeside Gardens where he started Alibaba 20 years ago.

  • So how does he travel between all these properties?

  • A Gulfstream 550 private jet purchased by Alibaba for $49.7 million.

  • Alibaba also foots the bill for the legendary talent shows of which Ma is always front and center.

  • Ma's talent-show performances have become the stuff of legends, from MJ dances to "Lion King" sing-alongs.

  • The most impressive celebration was Ma's retirement party in September 2019.

  • Alibaba rented out an Olympic-sized stadium for a massive celebration with 60,000 employees.

  • It included an employee parade and a rendition of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" by Ma himself.

  • But even with all his bashes and billions, Ma said he was actually happier when he was an English teacher.

  • He's noted his billions come with a responsibility to spend on behalf of society.

  • Maybe that's why he's turned to philanthropic work aimed at healthcare, the environment, and education.

  • Under his leadership, Alibaba donates 0.3% of earnings to environmental issues.

  • Ma sits on the board of China's Nature Conservancy and has donated millions to disaster-relief efforts.

  • The Jack Ma Foundation, formed in 2014, had pledged $44-million-plus both to Zhejiang University Hospital and to rural Chinese teachers.

  • With his newfound retirement and soaring investments, no one knows where Jack Ma will take his billions next.

  • But it will probably include a killer outfit.

Jack Ma is China's richest man, with an estimated worth of $38 billion.

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How Jack Ma Makes And Spends His Billions

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    Mackenzie posted on 2020/01/11
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