#6 Jack Ma, Founder & Chairman, Alibaba
Alibaba is one of the world’s most successful eCommerce businesses, expected by some to soon be the world’s largest retailer. The company has expressed an interest in wishing to develop its own mobile OS to compete with the likes of Android and promote its services, in a similar way to Amazon and the Fire Phone. Using hardware to monetise software is likely to gain more traction in Asia than elsewhere, as Xiaomi has shown. Any moves made by Alibaba are also likely to be magnified by its existing presence in the Chinese eCommercemarket.
Having previously stated that he was dissatisfied with the company’s penetration of the mobile Internet, Ma drove the mobile-first imperative into Alibaba’s growth strategy. To further this, Alibaba recently invested $590 million in Meizu, a Chinese smartphone company. This gives Alibaba a potential window into the smartphone market as a whole, and a potential receiver for their services and promote Alibaba’s YunOS. Having previously failed to introduce YunOS, the company is now in a position to insist on at least some YunOS phones.