Traditionally China’s youngsters wanted a job with the government, but Alibaba’s Jack Ma changed that perspective and starting a startup became the choice of many, says William Bao Bean, a Shanghai-based partner at venture capital firm SOS, one of the largest VC’s, to Bloomberg. How Jack Ma changed China.
“The China startup scene wouldn’t exist in the same way without Jack Ma,” said William Bao Bean, a Shanghai-based partner at venture capital firm SOSV. “The celebrity of Jack Ma and the success of Alibaba made startups an acceptable career choice, which has fueled one of the biggest technology markets in the world.”
Ma wasn’t just successful. He broke the mold for China’s business leaders, typically faceless chiefs running mammoth state-owned enterprises like PetroChina and China Mobile. He dressed up like Michael Jackson and tried the moon walk. He wore a three-foot feather Mohawk and makeup to perform at a company party. And he dispensed Yoda-like axioms that were collected in dozens of management books.
“To many he’s the face of China’s internet — no one really knows what Pony Ma looks like,” said Bean, referring to the CEO of Tencent Holdings Ltd.
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