After decades of runaway growth, China’s economy is undergoing a major transition towards consumption and services. The following business leaders will be part of that transition. They also represent a new wave of Chinese entrepreneurship and business savvy that we can all learn from.
Jack Ma is the founder and CEO of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing e-commerce companies. Founded in 1999, the company now serves 65 million people in more than 240 countries. Ma has emerged as a pioneer of B2B, B2C and C2C business, which has catapulted the Hangzhou-based company to No. 5 on the list of world’s biggest internet companies.
As of 2016, Ma was worth an estimated $28.8 billion, making him China’s second-richest person. Not bad for a man who applied to Harvard ten times before deciding it wasn’t worth his effort.
Traders may also recall that Alibaba became the world’s largest IPO in 2014 – a reminder of the opportunities at play in the global market. Ma’s story should also serve as a reminder that it’s never too late to learn from your mistakes. If China’s second-richest person can fail countless times and still succeed, then there’s hope for us all.
Neil Shen may not be as well-known as Jack Ma, but he is every bit as successful. Shen has emerged as one of China’s most successful venture capitalists who started at the bottom of New York and Hong Kong-based investment firms. Along the way he also became one of the founders of Ctrip.com, which is today China’s largest online travel company. In 2015, Shen was a critical player in the $15 billion merger of two portfolio companies, Meituan.com and Dianping Holdings.
Shen is highly bullish on the technology sector, and has made tons of money picking successful firms that have eventually gone public. He is currently No. 319 on China’s rich list and No. 7 on the Midas List of world’s smartest technology investors.
For traders. Shen’s story represents what can be accomplished by working hard and focusing on the right sectors. When it comes to trading and investing, technology never appears to be running out of style.
China’s new wave of entrepreneurs seem to have a thing for technology. Ma Huateng is certainly no different. In 2008 he founded Tencent, which just happens to be the world’s fourth-largest internet company behind Amazon, Google and Facebook. The company boasts a market cap of nearly $200 billion, which partially explains the executive’s $25.4 billion net worth. His company is also highly active in social media and online games, making Tencent one of the most frequented sites in China.
Forbes describes Ma as a self-made billionaire. He is the third richest person in China and 48th most powerful person in the world. Not bad for a fellow you probably never heard of!
For traders, Ma’s success represents just how quickly tech and internet stocks can make an impact. If you’re in North America or Europe, Tencent may not mean much, but that’s why research is so important. Big opportunities are always out there for traders willing to dig a little deeper.
Over the past two decades, China has attracted a steady stream of multinationals looking to capitalize on the world’s fastest growing major economy. Henry Chow is no doubt one of the best representatives of that boom period. Chow was one of the founders of IBM Greater China Group, where he got to witness first-hand the local market’s ferocious appetite for all things IT.
Chow is widely considered to be one of China’s most successful businesspeople – one who has helped transform his country into a strategic market. Anyone interested in China’s economic transition over the past 15 years should begin by studying the career of Henry Chow. His story will also help traders learn the ins and outs of the Chinese market and how it developed.
Andrew Yan is a managing partner of the Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF), a leading private equity firm that provides venture capital to businesses in Asia with a focus on information technology, internet, mobile, healthcare and cleantech. In this capacity, Yan has earned a strong reputation in the field of venture capital.
Under Yan’s leadership, SAIF was voted by the China Venture Capital Association as “Venture Capital Firm of the Year” in 2004 and 2007. He was also voted the “Venture Investor of the Year” in both years.
Traders interested in investing in Asia’s tech scene can learn a lot from Andrew Yan. He was listed as #69 on Forbes Midas List in 2013 for his ability to pick innovative companies who can compete in an increasingly globalized market. For entrepreneurs, Yan believes success depends on discovering new opportunities and simply making things happen. These features defined the Chinese economy over the past two decades, putting it on course to meet its lofty development goals.
 Editorial Staff (March 17, 2016). ‘Here’s How Much of a Failure Jack Ma Was Before He Started Ballin’ Out of Control.” NextShark.
 Forbes. #7. Neil Shen.
 Lin Liyao (January 13, 2012). “Top 15 influential business people in China.” China.org.
 Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Andrew Yan Biography.
 Ke Jin (August 26, 2016). “Meet five out of the 30 most influential investors in China.” All China Tech.