Finding Alibaba: How Jerry Yang Made The Most Lucrative Bet In Silicon Valley History

While Yahoo Japan began gaining millions of customers, Yang took his first trip to China in 1997. A junior staffer in the economic ministry was assigned to take Yang on a tour of the Great Wall of China. His name was Jack Ma, a former English teacher who had tried and failed to start a Chinese version of the Yellow Pages.

„Jack was one of the first people I ever met [in China],“ Yang says.

Along the hike the two hit it off and talked about the growth of the Web. „He was very curious about what it’s like on the Internet and what the future might be.“ Several months later Ma began building another startup based on grand and rather vague plans to connect Chinese companies with the rest of the world. He called it Alibaba.

BY THE SPRING OF 1999, the height of the dot-com bubble, Yahoo had bloomed into one of the most popular websites on Earth, and Son was briefly almost as rich as Bill Gates. Ma’s Alibaba outfit was piddling by comparison, just a handful of people working out of his apartment in Hangzhou.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/09/30/how-jerry-yang-made-the-most-lucrative-bet-in-tech-history/#664e2e2722f3

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