Zeng Fanzhi and Jack Ma.
COURTESY SOTHEBY’S

Chinese businessman Jack Ma’s credentials rank him as a true 21st-century heavy hitter. He founded Alibaba, the game-changing e-commerce site whose initial public offering was over $25 billion. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes, a magazine that also named him the 30th most powerful person in the world in 2014. He is also an art collector and a painter, of sorts. In the fall of 2015, Ma’s first public piece—Paradise, a portrait of Planet Earth done with oil on round canvas, completed with the help of the Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi—fetched a mind-blowing $5.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction. It was sold to the Chinese businessman Qian Fenglei. “This is the first time I’ve painted,” Ma wrote in the auction catalog. Not a bad start to a career!

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Jack Ma

Location:
Hangzhou, China

Source of wealth:
E-commerce (AliBaba)

Collecting area:
Modern and contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
,

Fun fact:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ma's job application was reportedly rejected by KFC, when its first franchises opened in China. One of AliBaba's financial affiliates is now a part owner of the KFCs in China.