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Bananas’ Health Benefits

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Going Bananas!

Now really, it’s a banana a day keeps the doctor away”

For bananas are times better than apple in lots of ways.

You don’t believe!

Let’s see . . .

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression ‘going bananas’ is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on: 

 

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!

After reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again. 

 

These are some of the things you probably don’t know about bananas . . . interesting to know . . .

Bunches of Green Bananas (unripened)

Bunches of Green Bananas (unripened) 

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. 

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. 

PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia : High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. 

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Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. 

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. 

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.. 

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Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady. 

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. 

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape! 

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So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, ‘A banana a day keeps the doctor away!’

PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS

PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe…polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!! 

So, be like monkeys.

Love your bananas!

Such a lot of goodness all packed into a tiny banana!

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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China’s New Sheraton Hotel

Paul Chong / Thursday, 20 November 2014 

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When my wife & I first went to China in 1989, we were tremendously impressed with the standard & range of design with their five-star hotels in each of the cities we visited. In Beijing we stayed in Kunming Hotel, Shanghai was Sheraton Hotel with its fantastic indoor fountain which responded synchronising with the music played and I still recall the marvellous White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou. They even had a fleet of Mercedes for guests’ use.

That was 25 years ago when China was just opening up to welcome tourists. Shopping then was mainly confined to their Friendship Stores or roadside stores. Currency exchange was with some difficulties, besides not having much  shopping choices to attract the tourists’ dollars. Food was good, especially the hotel breakfast and all our travel was covered by air-conditioned coaches for sight-seeing.

China has since come a long way with its remarkable range of hotels. Today’s structures are mind-boggling & futuristic. Such is the presentation of the 27-storey “big glowing doughnut”

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort that’s newly established near to Shanghai.

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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Colourful Life of Chinese Seniors

Paul Chong / Thurs.20 November 2014

Never too old . . .

Never too old having fun

The number of people aged 60 and above in China is expected to jump from the current 185 million to 487 million, or 35 percent of the population, by 2053, according to figures from the China National Committee On Aging.

The expanding ratio is due both an increase in life expectancy – from 41 to 73 over five decades – and by family planning policies that limit most urban families to a single child. This policy has just been changed to allow for one more, if either of the spouse comes from a one-child family.

Rapid aging poses serious threats to the country’s social and economic stability, as the burden of supporting the growing number of elderly passes to a proportionately shrinking working population and the social safety net remains weak.

Advances in healthcare and nutrition, combined with the one child policy, have led to rapid aging of China’s population. But looking on the bright side, Chinese people now have a longer life expectancy with economic and social development. China has become a country with an increasing number of seniors. Senior citizens actively take part in all kinds of social activities and sports after their retirement. Let’s have a look at their colourful lives.

Life takes on a more colourful aspect upon retirement . . . interesting recreational activities for which there was never enough time to engage in when young & working. The important thing is they now have time to do the things they want to & not have to.

There has been a growing tendency to see the Chinese damas who practice line dancing with loud & noisy disturbances. In fact, there are many courageous and helpful damas in China, who bring warmth and a lot of positive energy to the society.

chinese-chess-3 Playing Chinese Chess

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Practising Tai Chi

badminton

Badminton

pingpong

PingPong (Table tennis)

shanghai-mahjong

Mahjong

You’re really getting old when you stop having fun.

For life goes on!

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“Too Many Cooks” (In a lighter vein . . . for laughs & relaxation)

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I just love this and I’m not the
only one. You have to stay with
it, because it doesn’t reveal its
true genius until the final
minutes.

This video is a parody of overly
cheerful ’80s and ’90s sitcom
show opens, that takes a lot of
bizarre twists and turns along
the way.

Its creator, Caspar Kelly from
Adult Swim says, “The idea was
for it to be a sitcom intro that
doesn’t stop and keeps adding
characters.” It also pokes fun at
crime dramas, space shows,
cartoons and more.

After watching this, you can finally
turn off your TV, knowing that
you’ve seen it all.

Video Total: (just over 11 mins)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC1qjHL4NRQ

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Billionaire Lei Jun, Xiaomi Inc.

Edited: Paul Chong / 18 November 2014   Source: Forbes/Bloomberg/New York Times/South China Morning Post

 

Lei Jun, Xiaomi

Lei Jun, the man dubbed “China’s Steve Jobs”, Xiaomi Founder, Chairman & CEO

Position: Founder, Chairman & CEO, Xiaomi Inc.

Net worth:55.69 billion yuan (US$9.1 billion)

Age: 44

Source of wealth: smartphones

In China Lei Jun is among the top ten richest men & his founding Company

Xiaomi is the hottest Smartphone Company. Quick & progressive it might have another phone coming & it looks gorgeous. It’s the Mi5 phone looking better than the previous Mi4 (pictured below).

Xiaomi SmartPhone

The Xiaomi Mi4 was launched in July this year, and it’s interesting to see that the company is already starting the production of the Mi5. In any case, we quite like what the phone is shaping to be.

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Mi5

Next year they’re expecting to sell 100 million of these units, so the Xiaomi Mi 5 may play a big part in the Company’s plan. The unit shown above is very slim and elongated compared to modern flagships and it looks like it could be used easily with one hand. Rumors say we’re going to get a Quad HD screen here, a Snapdragon 805 processor and 3 GB of RAM.

The Mi 5 is expected to be announced in 2015, maybe at some tech show like CES or MWC 2015. This bezel-free approach is getting more and more popular these days, but if you look closely, you’ll see there’s a tiny edge in there, since there’s the screen black and another deeper black on the sides. Also, from what can be seen the body seems to be made of metal.

Xiaomi is one of the buzziest smartphone makers out there today, even though it only sells phones in China and a few other markets in Asia . It recently just passed Samsung to become the No. 1 smartphone maker in China during the second quarter of this year, as research firm Canalys reported.

It’s also the third largest smartphone maker in the entire world in terms of global shipments, according to Bloomberg. That means Xiaomi falls right behind Samsung and Apple, and the company is also believed to be raising money at a $US40 billion valuation, so the company is going to get more and more active as time goes by.

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Xiaomi’s Lei Jun gives a briefing, Steve Jobs-style, on a new smartphone Mi4 in Beijing in July, Photo: Kyodo

Lei, worth an estimated US$9.1 billion according to Forbes, was inspired by the late Apple co-founder at an early age. While studying scientific engineering at Wuhan University, Lei read Fire in the Valley, Paul Frieberger and Michael Swaine’s account of the early days of the PC industry and vowed to follow in Jobs’ footsteps.

Xiaomi borrows heavily from Apple’s marketing strategy. For example, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun wears blue jeans, white sneakers, and a black shirt, just like Steve Jobs did. Jun also showed a “One more thing …” slide during Xiaomi’s last product launch, a tactic Apple made famous when it was about to introduce a surprise product.

Xiaomi is the fastest-growing smartphone maker in the world. It makes Android phones with high-end specs that rival what you’d find in other top-tier phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 5S. But Xiaomi sells its smartphones for about half the price.

Xiaomi’s newest flagship will cost about $US320 U.S. It has a 5-inch screen, powerful processor, and really nice design. The Samsung Galaxy S5 costs at least $US600. The iPhone 5S starts at $US649.

“I was greatly influenced by that book, and I wanted to establish a company that was first class,” Lei told The New York Times in 2013. “So I made a plan to get through college fast.”

After leaving university, Lei helped found software developer Kingsoft in 1992, becoming chief executive in 1998 and guiding the company to a successful initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. While at Kingsoft, Lei was heavily involved in the establishment of Joyo.com, an online bookstore and e-commerce site which was sold to Jeff Bezos’s Amazon.com for US$75 million in 2004. Around that time, Lei became a leading Chinese angel investor, with stakes in online clothing retailer Vancl and video-based social network YY, whose US-traded shares have risen more than three-fold in the past year according to Forbes.

“If Lei’s career stopped after Kingsoft, Joyo, [mobile internet company] UC Web, and YY, he would still be a remarkable entrepreneur and investor,” Hamish McKenzie, author of Beta China: The Dawn of an Innovation Generation told the South China Morning Post. “What he’s doing with Xiaomi however, is likely to be his legacy, and the start the company has got off to already suggests he deserves to be considered in a similar class to Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Bill Gates.”

Founded in 2010 by Lei and former Google executive Lin Bin, Xiaomi has seen huge success with its cut-price, high-quality smartphones, most of which sell for less than half the price of similar Apple or Samsung devices. This year, Xiaomi led China’s second-quarter smartphone shipment rankings with a 14 per cent market share, according to research firm Canalys, followed by Samsung, Lenovo, and Yulong, each with 12 per cent. In 2013, Xiaomi was valued at more than US$10 billion, on a par with Lenovo, a company with over 10 times as many employees founded a full 26 years earlier.


Much of that success is down to Lei himself, said Doug Young, financial journalism professor at Fudan University and blogger about the Chinese internet industry.

“Lei Jun is an incredible self promoter and supreme marketer, which is why he and his company get far more attention than other CEOs and companies [making] comparable products,” Young said.

Similar criticisms were levelled at Steve Jobs, once called the “master evangelist of the digital age”.

Lei’s relationship to the late Apple co-founder has not always been idolising. In 2011, he wrote an unusual essay in which he seemed to look forward to Jobs’ impending death, accusing the American of blinding the world with “his light”, adding “we’d rather live in a more colourful world”.

“I’ve said on many different occasions that if I had been called the ‘Steve Jobs of China’ as a 20 year old, I would have been very honoured,” Lei told a crowd at a Xiaomi publicity event in January. “As a 40 year old however, I don’t want to be considered second to anyone.”

At times, Lei has been a fierce critic of Apple. In a recent interview with CNN he accused the company of dictating “what users want” rather than listening to feedback.

Unlike many of its rivals however, Xiaomi has so far struggled to achieve great success outside China. In August 2013, Xiaomi hired former Google executive Hugo Barra, who Lei called the first “true foreigner”, tasked with overseeing the company’s international expansion.

“Barra is the perfect guy to take them overseas,” Hans Tung of GGV Capital, an early Xiaomi investor, told Tech in Asia. Since Barra’s hire, the company has launched in India, Singapore, and the Philippines and is gearing up to enter other major Asian markets as well as Brazil, Mexico and other parts of South America. In April, Xiaomi bought the domain mi.com for a record US$3.6 million, the most expensive domain name ever bought in China, simplifying what some inside the company reportedly saw as one of the biggest hurdles to international expansion: a tricky to pronounce name.

This aggressive push to court non-Chinese consumers has netted Lei an endorsement that must have been dear to the heart of the old Fire in the Valley fan: that of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

“Xiaomi has excellent products, they’re good enough to break the American market,” Wozniak said during a Q&A with Lei at an event in Beijing earlier this year. Asked about similarities to his old firm, he said, somewhat tongue in cheek: “Xiaomi is in a very different age. It’s hard to compare apples to apples.”

Despite its success, Xiaomi has its critics. Apple fans are quick to point out that Xiaomi devices look a lot like Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Obama’s Neocons Have Produced A Mess In Ukraine

Guest Column by Henry Kissinger

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

November 17, 2014

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Henry A Kissinger

Strategic Culture Foundation

Kissinger: Ukraine should forget about Crimea and NATO membership

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger spoke about global threats, the secession of Crimea and Ukraine’s NATO accession.

Mr. Kissinger said that there currently is an urgent need for a new world order, but its coming into being will be long and complicated. “There are no universally accepted rules,” said Mr. Kissinger in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. “There is the Chinese view, the Islamic view, the Western view and, to some extent, the Russian view. And they really are not always compatible.”

Speaking of Crimea’s accession to Russia, he noted that this is a special case, as Ukraine and Russia were one country for a long time. In his view, the West must recognize its mistakes. “Europe and America did not understand the impact of these events, starting with the negotiations about Ukraine’s economic relations with the European Union and culminating in the demonstrations in Kiev,” said Mr. Kissinger. “All these, and their impact, should have been the subject of a dialogue with Russia.”

He is sure that Ukraine has always had a special significance for Russia. Failure to understand this was fatal, and the Ukrainian authorities can forget about the Crimean peninsula. “Nobody in the West has offered a concrete program to restore Crimea,” said Mr. Kissinger. “Nobody is willing to fight over eastern Ukraine.” In his opinion, introducing anti-Russian sanctions was a mistake.

We have to remember that Russia is an important part of the international system, and therefore useful in solving all sorts of other crises, for example in the agreement on nuclear proliferation with Iran or over Syria,” Mr. Kissinger said. “This has to have preference over a tactical escalation in a specific case.” He added that Ukraine should not hope to become a member of NATO in the foreseeable future, as the alliance will never vote unanimously for the accession of Ukraine.

Footnote: neoconservative, esp. in advocating democratic capitalism.

 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma – China’s Richest Man

Edited by: Paul Chong / 18 November 2014 Source: USA Today/Forbes/Bloomberg

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Jack Ma

Whatever the mind of man can conceive & believe, it can achieve.” - Dr. Napoleon Hill (“Think & Grow Rich”)

His Chinese name Ma Yun (马云) denotes that he’s a Horse (Surname ), perhaps a Dark Horse, in his case. His other name () meaning Clouds could indicate that he’s been dreaming from up high. Significantly, he’s uniquely in a league of the highest order.

Jack Ma or Ma Yun (Chinese: 马云; born October 15, 1964 is a Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of highly successful Internet-based businesses. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes. As of November 2014, he is the richest man in China and 18th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $29.7 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.(Wikipedia)

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce business, topped the Top 400 China Rich List with US$195 billion wealth, according to the latest Forbes ranking release.

Jack Ma received world-wide attention thanks to Alibaba’s recent massive IPO in New York. How Hong Kong, often the gateway to China’s Listing, must be disappointed to miss this tremendous opportunity. Though scrawny & standing just over 5ft tall, he now stands among the financial giants in the financial world.

Ma was followed by Robin Li, founder of Baidu, the largest search engine in China, and Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, one of China’s largest internet companies.

“China’s internet entrepreneurs have started to catch up with iconic people in the industry in the United States such as Paul Allen, Eric Schmidt, Jerry Yang and Sheryl Sandberg”, Russell Flannery, Shanghai bureau chief for Forbes said. “In the era that e-commerce and mobile services become more and more popular, even if China can’t surpass the United States, it can share a large amount of fortune,” Flannery continued.

Former English teacher Ma captured the world stage like no other Chinese businessman before him in September with the record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering of e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group on the New York Stock Exchange. The listing turned him into China’s richest man and enriched Alibaba shareholders Softbank and Yahoo. Up next: a higher profile for Alibaba’s payments affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group. Ma will also need to weave together more than a dozen investments – from a stake in a soccer team to a film production studio – that Alibaba made this year. He is likely to make time for his philanthropy. Ma sits on the board of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences with fellow power person Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner, among others.(Forbes)

When I first started Alibaba, I was immediately met with strong opposition from family and friends. Looking back, I realised that the biggest driving force for me then was not my confidence in the Internet and the potential it held, but more of this:  “No matter what one does, regardless of failure or success, the experience is a form of success in itself.” You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before. 

Initial meeting with friends at Jack's home

Initial meeting with friends at Jack’s home

Jack Ma: Before I founded Alibaba, I invited 24 friends to my house to discuss the business opportunity. After discussing for a full two hours, they were still confused — I have to say that I may not have put myself across in a clear manner manner then. The verdict: 23 out of the 24 people in the room told me to drop the idea, for a multitude of reasons, such as: ‘you do not know anything about the internet, and more prominently, you do not have the start-up capital for this’ etc etc.

There was only one friend (who was working in a bank then) who told me, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before.” I pondered upon this for one night, and by the next morning, I decided I would do it anyway, even if all of the 24 people opposed the idea.

As with this quote by T.E. Lawrence – “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”
Jack Ma: People lose out in life because of these 4 reasons:

“Being myopic to opportunity

Looking down on opportunities

Lacking understanding

Failing to act quickly enough”

You are poor, because you have no ambition.”

Ambition is living a life of great ideals; a magnificent goal in life that must be realised”.

In this world, there are things that are deemed unfathomable, but there is nothing in this world that cannot be done. The depth of one’s ambition determines the potential of one’s future.

Revealing his ambition – and a love of numbers common in China – Jack Ma says Alibaba will last 102 years so the Internet empire he founded in 1999 can span three centuries.

Under Ma’s maverick leadership, the 15-year-old firm has already bridged a period of extraordinary change in global trade and the Chinese economy. He raised a still-growing giant whose U.S. initial public offering, which will start trading under the BABA ticker Friday, is the largest in history.

HIS HUMBLE BEGINNING

His rags-to-riches journey is just as spectacular. A scrawny Ma, just over 5 feet tall, was rejected by KFC and other employers in his hometown of Hangzhou in east China. He believed in the Internet’s business potential when few other Chinese did. Outlandish ideas earned him the nickname “Crazy Jack Ma.” No one thinks he’s mad now, even when dressing in wild wigs and lipstick for his annual meeting where he serenades a stadium full of Alibaba employees.

Ma’s readiness to make fun of himself, and speak his mind, stands in contrast to China’s often conservative corporate barons. Charismatic and energetic, this former teacher has become an inspiration to millions across China. He flunked at math but loved English, and countless books and DVDs sell his business lessons in every airport lounge.

Ma – now stars in the coming-out party for China’s private sector onto the world stage. He praises and uses Western management techniques but also quotes regularly from Chairman Mao Zedong. He is a fan of China’s kung fu novels and made those legends part of his company’s culture. He travels the world with a tai chi trainer.

His parents performed a type of musical storytelling that was banned during Mao’s devastating Cultural Revolution, from 1966 to 1976. Chinese parents back then, Ma’s father beat him growing up. But there were childhood pleasures, too. He liked collecting and fighting crickets, an ancient pastime that Mao also banned. Ma developed an expert ear, able to distinguish the type and size of cricket just by the sound, his friend and personal assistant at Alibaba, Chen Wei, wrote in his 2013 book on Ma.

Ma’s grandfather, a local official under the Nationalist Party that Mao defeated, was persecuted as an enemy of the Communist revolution. Ma and his relatives all suffered at that time, wrote Chinese author Zhang Yongsheng in a 2009 biography.

Starting at age 12, Ma says he awoke at 5 a.m. to walk or bicycle to Hangzhou’s main hotel so he could practice his English with foreign tourists, who started trickling into the country after Mao’s death in 1976. He did this for nine years and acted as a free tour guide to many, befriended several and later visited one family in Australia.

Those experiences opened his eyes. “I realised what they told me was quite different from what I had learned in school or heard from my parents,” Ma told Xiao-Ping Chen, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, in an interview published last year.

MA’S BELIEF IN THE INTERNET

After twice failing the national college entrance exams, Ma entered what he called “Hangzhou’s worst college.” Graduating in 1988, Ma married his college sweetheart and taught English at a local college for five years, earning $15 a month. During that time, he also applied for, and failed to land, jobs at a local KFC, a hotel and the city police.

Determined to enter business, Ma set up a translation company, but he still had to peddle goods on the street to get by. He traveled to the United States in 1995 as a translator to help a Chinese firm recover a payment. The attempt failed, and the American who owed money pulled a gun on him, Ma says. But a friend in Seattle showed Ma the Internet, and an idea began brewing.

Ma noticed there was not a single online listing for “China” and “beer,” unlike those that popped up for American and German beer. He returned to China and set up a listing site that he later sold to the government. After working in Beijing for an Internet firm under the Ministry of Commerce, Ma returned home to Hangzhou to pursue his dream.

ALIBABA FOUNDED

With the help of more than a dozen friends who pooled their resources – just $60,000 – he founded Alibaba, a business-to-business online platform. The company now makes more profit than rivals Amazon.com and e-Bay combined, as China’s burgeoning middle class are big spenders online, and small companies rely on Alibaba and its online payment system.

Ma seized opportunities as China was transforming into a market economy. At the time, the Internet was first being promoted, and small, private businesses struggled to get loans and had to compete against government-protected state firms, said economist Feng Pengcheng, director of the China Research Center for Capital Management at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

“The business model Ma Yun created in China suited the Chinese market. It might be a failure in the U.S. market, but it’s so successful in China,” Feng said. “What’s more, Ma Yun is good at cooperating with other talents. His company culture and his personal charm attracted employees, and his slogans are uplifting,” he said.

Chen Wei, Ma’s friend & personal assistant, writes:

“For a billionaire so outspoken on company and business issues, Ma says little about his family and manages to keep his private life quiet and scandal-free. Ma and his wife Zhang Ying have a son, an undergrad at the University of California-Berkeley, where Ma had audited classes. A black-and-white photo of a young Ma with his older brother and younger sister went viral this month in China’s cyberspace, as many people were unaware their richest citizen even had siblings.”

“Ma Yun’s lifestyle is very simple and modest. His hobbies are still tai chi and kung fu novels,” Chen, his friend and assistant, said last week from Boston, while accompanying Ma on Alibaba’s U.S. roadshow before the IPO.

“I don’t think he has changed much, he is still that old style. After the IPO, I am sure his lifestyle will be simpler. He won’t change,” Chen said. In his book, being published in English this month, Chen said Ma enjoys meditation in the mountains, playing poker with friends and writing his own kung fu fiction. By Ma’s own account, he believes in both Buddhism and Taoism, and follows many tenets of Confucianism.

IT’S A DIFFERENT CHINA

“My father said if you were born 30 years ago, you’d probably be in a prison, because the ideas you have are so dangerous,” Ma told Charlie Rose in a 2011 TV interview. Despite such bravado for a Western audience, Ma has always been careful in China to avoid statements and actions that could jeopardize his business.

Ma resigned last year as Alibaba’s CEO, but he clearly remains in charge as the firm’s executive chairman. He has hinted at exploring more “cultural” pursuits, such as film-making, education and environmental protection.

“One issue facing China is that people’s wallets are bulging, but their heads are empty,” he told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post last year. Ma also promises more philanthropy, including what may be China’s largest charity foundation. Expect to hear plenty more from maverick Ma.

Let this be an inspiration to all.

I am but an average man in the street who once emailed Alibaba over a year ago about purchasing an Ab-Exercising Machine, but till today I keep receiving brochures & other info from the Company.

Never Give Up!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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