From Gold to Green

E-commerce titan Jack Ma is turning his attention to cleaning up China's pollution

Illustration by Peter Arkle; Photo: Chad Ingraham

E-commerce titan Jack Ma is turning his attention to cleaning up China's pollution.

If you're going to invent an entirely new business category--say, e-commerce in China--it helps to have tunnel vision. For years that's how Jack Ma saw the world. A former English teacher turned digital entrepreneur, Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 and built it into an e-commerce juggernaut that's bigger in mainland China than Amazon and eBay put together: its 2012 sales topped $150 billion. Ma became a billionaire, made the cover of Forbes and was named to the TIME 100 list in 2009. Things were good for Alibaba and for China, which saw its economy boom and hundreds of millions of people...

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