Jack Ma just became $2.8 billion richer overnight after Alibaba Group’s value jumped by 13.3% on the New York Stock Exchange by Friday morning. The Alibaba CEO, who now has a net worth of $41.8 billion, jumped several notches on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, landing on #14. Currently China’s richest man, Ma has definitely gained a comfortable lead over his rival, Wang Jianlin ($31.5 billion), Bloomberg reports.
The E-commerce giant has also surpassed rival Tencent to become Asia’s most valuable company after reaching the $360 billion mark.
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Alibaba’s bullish forecast on Thursday that the company’s sales would grow 49% by 2018 reportedly caused the significant spike in value. The company’s forecast exceeded average analyst projections by over 10%.
With such forecast, the company is definitely aiming its target of an ambitious $1 trillion gross merchandise volume by 2020.
According to Ma, Alibaba has become more than just a company but an economy all of its own.
“Five years ago, when the Taobao and Tmall GMV just crossed $170bn GMV, which is RMB1 trillion, I had a crazy idea. I said: ‘What if we could make $1tn by the 20-year anniversary of Alibaba, the year 2019 – today, we call it the 2020 fiscal year – we should meet the $1tn U.S. dollars?’ but I hate the exchange rate,”
said Ma at the company’s investor day on Friday
The company’s recent ventures into new sectors beyond just online shopping have allayed growing fears of China’s slowing economy. Alibaba has so far broadened its investments by engaging in industries like cloud computing and video streaming.
Ma, who grew up poor in communist China, has a well-known rags-to-riches story
. After failing his university-entrance exam twice, and got rejected from dozens of jobs, he eventually found success with his third Internet company, Alibaba.