Jack Ma, founder and chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is not only the second richest man in China but also the global face of China’s innovative tech entrepreneurs. Recently, KPMG’s global tech innovation survey ranked Ma as the third leading innovation visionary worldwide, behind only Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook, according to the South China Morning Post.

Alibaba
Image source: hinglish Notes – Flickr

Alibaba founder beating big names

Ma superseded major tech names like Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the survey. KPMG polled about 841 hi-tech industry executives for this survey; hence, this is a big achievement for Ma. We know pretty well that the Alibaba founder has been paving the way for the growth of e-commerce in mainland China and globally and has been pretty successful at it.

Egidio Zarrella, head of clients and innovation at KPMG China, said, “What Jack Ma has consistently done is rise up to the challenges in his industry with major initiatives.”

In another survey by KPMG, Alibaba was ranked seventh in leading technological innovation. SpaceX — the aerospace company led by Elon Musk — also got the seventh spot. Alibaba operates in several sectors, including entertainment, healthcare, financial services, media, and enterprise information technology services. Alibaba Cloud, which is China’s largest online infrastructure services provider, supports the company’s retail operations.

SpaceX and Alibaba were ahead of Cisco Systems and Samsung in the top-10 rankings. A drop in Samsung’s rank was not surprising, given the multiple explosion reports and recall of the Galaxy Note 7 last year.

Shanghai to be the next Silicon Valley

According to the survey, over the next four years, Shanghai will become the number one hub for tech innovation. New York was second, followed by Tokyo, Beijing and London. Silicon Valley was not included in the survey, but if it had been included, it would have beaten Shanghai to take the number one position, according to VentureBeat.

About 26% of the respondents selected Shanghai as the city to compete with Silicon Valley/ San Francisco as the leading technology innovation hub.

“Shanghai is ranked first overall in the survey as a future tech leader with its strong regional leadership in financial markets and numerous high-tech parks in Pudong,” said Zarrella.

The deciding factors for innovation by region were the ability to drive customer adoption, access to capital, availability of talent, access to alliances and partnerships, access to tech infrastructure, and training and educational programs.