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Ever since the Alibaba Group went public on September 19, 2014—with an initial public offering of a record-breaking $25 billion—Jack Ma, the founder and charismatic "spiritual leader" of the e-commerce behemoth, has been making headlines around the world. In 2014, the company's online transactions totaled $248 billion—more than those of Amazon and eBay combined. The first Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes, Ma is the now the second-richest man in China, with a net worth that is estimated to be north of $29 billion.
Despite Ma's massive influence in China and in the global tech world, his inspirational rags-to-riches story is relatively unknown to the general American public. Never Give Up: Jack Ma In His Own Words is a comprehensive guide to the inner workings of arguably the most prominent figure in the global tech world in the past 20 years—comprised entirely of Ma's own thought-provoking and candid quotes.
When Ma decided to start his first Internet company in 1999, few Chinese people knew what the Internet was. Ma, a former English teacher, knew nothing about coding, and his $20,000 in startup funds were not made up of investments from venture capitalists but loans from his family. He channeled his startup experience into Alibaba, a group of websites that allows businesses and people to connect in order to buy and sell products (similar to eBay and Amazon) while also collecting advertising revenue (similar to Google). By some measures, Alibaba is now the largest e-commerce site in the world.