6 Facts about billionaire Jack Ma, who sent Africa Covid-19 tests
Jack Ma, the co-founder of the Alibaba Group, has donated medical supplies to SA and other African countries twice since the coronavirus entered Africa.
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The Chinese billionaire gave a helping hand to 54 nations in Africa last month when he donated 20 000 test kits, 100 000 masks, and 1 000 medical use protective suits and face shields.
He has since donated a second batch of medical supplies only weeks after his first announcement, which included 500 ventilators, 200 000 suits and face shields, 2 000 thermometers, 1 million swabs, and extraction kits and 500 000 gloves.
YEN.com.gh decided to honour the generous billionaire by taking a look at six facts about his life and career.
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1. Humble beginnings
He was born Ma Yun on September 10, 1964 in Zhejiang, China. From an early age, Ma began studying English by having conversations with English-speaking guests at the Hangzhou International Hotel.
He would ride 17 miles (27km) on his bicycle to give tourists tours of the area in an attempt to practice English.
According to a Jack Ma autobiography written by Kalyani Mookherji, Ma became pen pals with one of the foreigners who called him "Jack".
Although he spent years trying to perfect English, learning did not come easy to the billionaire. He reportedly took four years to pass the Chinese entrance exams.
He attended the Hangzhou Teacher's Institute, which is now known as Hangzhou Normal University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1988.
Ma became an English and international trace lecturer at the Hangzhou Dianzi University after graduation.
He then attempted to get into Harvard Business School but got rejected 10 times - ouch! Well, even without a Harvard Business degree, Ma still managed to do pretty well for himself.
3. Alibaba Group
Ma is the co-founder and former chairman of the Alibaba Group - a multinational technology company.
He retired from the group in September 2018 and was succeeded by Daniel Zhang as the executive chairman.
4. China's wealthiest man
According to Wikipedia, Ma is China's richest man as of March this year. He has an impressive net worth of $42.3 billion - which is about R793 billion.
His impressive net worth also secures Ma a spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes' richest people lists. He currently holds the 20th spot as the wealthiest person on the world.
5. A philanthropy hero
The 55-year-old doesn't only make Forbes' richest people in the world list, he also featured on the publication's Asia's 2019 Heroes of Philanthropy list.
He was awarded the honour for the work he had done supporting less fortunate communities in China, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa.
6. Jack Ma - the movie star
Jack Ma is often described as a businessman, politician, and philanthropist, however, he also had a short stint in the entertainment world.
In 2017, Ma landed his acting debut in a kung fu short film titled Gong Shou Dao. That same year, he also partook in a singing festival and showed off his dancing skills at Alibaba's 18th-anniversary party
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