— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on May 7, Wednesday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
Investors are getting a look into Alibaba's Cave of Wonders... as the Chinese e-commerce giant embarks on its U.S. IPO journey.
And unlike the mega Facebook IPO, many think Alibaba is likely to do well based on its growth potential.
But how did it all start for Alibaba?
CNBC's Jane Wells takes a look at the man who built China's, and possibly the world's largest e-commerce platform.
"lucky, just lucky..." Jack Ma may be lucky, but he's also relentless. 15 years ago, he launced an online B to B website called Alibaba, no one would open sesame to help him. "I was rejected by so many venture capitalists when I talk about Alibaba service. They look at me strange. What? Alibaba? What are you talking about? I went to China with nothing, no money, nobody invested in me, but full of confidence, I sold american dreams." The dream of hard work paying off, it did. Alibaba has grown into China's largest e commerce platform, beyond B to B and into retail, online payments and more. Making this 49 year old, former teacher who taught himself english, nearly $9 billion dollars. "Even today, we have lots of money. We're still very careful for every penny we spend." Ma is a different sort of chinese businessman. He's funny. Here he is at Standford in 2011.
"Are you gonna buy Yahoo?" "Good question. yes, we are very interested in that." He has a knack for analogies. "This talk is just like something of a peace talk on the united nations. It's very complicated." "I call myself like a blind man, riding on the back of blind tigers." And he insists on telling everyone about failure. "Like most companies we made hundreds of thousands of mistakes." "We made so many mistakes. we were so stupid that time."
Jack Ma believes you don't learn from other people's successes, but from the stupid things they do. And as the company he founded begins to go public, Ma says his business philosophy is customers first, employees second, shareholders third. And he remains a dreamer who has defied crritics inside and outside China. "We find the best managers of finance, technology and marketing, these people put them together. But my idea my job, is everyday tell them the dream." For CNBC Business news, I'm Jane Wells.
Right now the initial filing is for the company to raise just 1 billion US dollars, but that's likely to be revised up.
This comes on a day when tech stocks are stumbling.
So is this the best time to enter?
We'll be keeping an eye on Alibaba's treasure trove.
That wraps up this edition of the Business Daily.
I'm Julia Wood, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters.
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