It is commonly said that the fortune of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, China’s No.1 e-commerce platform, is made by tens of thousands of women who are good at spending money.
Among these women, there are five behind Jack Ma who, by working with him, gained power, money, and helped propel Alibaba to its current dominance. They each reportedly have assets of over RMB 100 million (USD 14.5 million), and all five of them are among the 27 Alibaba Partners.
Peng Lei (Lucy Peng), aged 43, is arguably the most powerful woman at Alibaba; she is one of the 18 founders of Alibaba, and is now the CEO of Ant Financial, Alibaba’s small and micro financial services group.
With a five-year career life as a teacher behind her, she is known for her firm but flexible management skills, and is apparently considered by Alibaba employees to be an amiable, forthright, smart and strong woman with an excellent memory.
Previously acting as Alibaba Group’s chief procurement officer, in 2010, she took the position of CEO at Alipay, an online payment services provider with 400 million registered users. She was later named in 2013 as the CEO of Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate that is valued at more than USD 50 billion.
Peng Yijie (Sabrina Peng), aged 38, is the youngest among the 27 Alibaba Partners. Yet as the general manager of International – Ant Financial Services and vice president of Alibaba, she is no less capable than any other when dealing with international issues.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in English and another Bachelor’s degree in International Trade, she joined Alibaba in 2000.
From 2004 to 2005, she served as the director of customer service at Alibaba’s China marketplace division. From 2006 to 2007, she headed Alibaba’s China website operation department. From 2007 to 2012, she acted as vice president of Alibaba.com Limited, before taking the post of vice president of Alibaba’s Business Department.
Wu Minzhi (Sophie Wu), aged 40, joined Alibaba in 2000 and is president of wholesale marketplaces, also overseeing the business-to-business unit of Alibaba.
In addition, she served as the president of Alibaba’s commercial platform, Alibaba.com and Alibaba’s wholesale site,1688.com.
She graduated from the prestigious Zhejiang University as a major in international trade, before obtaining obtaining an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from the China Europe International Business School.
Dai Shan (Trudy Dai), aged 41, is also one of the 18 founders of Alibaba. In May of 2014, she took the position as Alibaba’s Chief Customer Officer (CCO); in 1999, when Alibaba had just started, she was one of the four customer service agents, together with Lucy Peng.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, Dai followed Jack Ma to build Alibaba. From 1999 to 2001, she worked in multiple posts, including customer service, sales and user interface. Over the following three years, she led the telephone sales team, which now has grown into a group of over 800 people.
Dai has a daughter and often takes her to attend events at Alibaba.
Tong Wenhong (Judy Tong), aged 45, is the Chief Operating Officer of China Smart Logistics, a.k.a. Cainiao. She is perhaps the most legendary Alibaba Partner.
In 2000, Tong joined Alibaba as a receptionist. Step by step, she became a senior vice president of Alibaba, and is now in charge of the logistics affiliate of Alibaba whose financing, confirmed this March pushed its valuation to RMB 50 billion (USD 7.7 billion).
“I’m not smart, and I may be naive, but I have great willpower and perseverance,” she once said during an interview in 2008. Her co-workers said she is a woman of power and sincerity.