• Alibaba chairman Jack Ma poses before the media during the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover.

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma poses before the media during the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover. (Photo : Reuters)

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is set to host a global conference on May 20, which is expected to provide support for and encourage women who are planning to start their own businesses, according to the Beijing Morning News.

The report said that the billionaire executive has openly encouraged women to start their own business for their own satisfaction and expressed optimism about the future of women in business and entrepreneurship.

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"The dot-com economy is about experience. Women were born with good intuition in this aspect. The Internet provides an opportunity to women, who are independent, confident, strong and self-esteemed, and allows them to pursue their dreams like their male peers," Ma was quoted as saying.

According to the report, Ma, who will be the only male guest and speaker at the conference, is expected to invite 800 women from home and abroad to attend the conference.

Some of the female guests who are expected to show up include American actress Jessica Alba; Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post; and Liu Qing, CEO of Didi Taxi.

Alibaba, being a global company, has a high percentage of female employees, amounting to 40 percent; and out of its 30 partners, nine are female.

In September last year, when the company began public trading in the U.S., five of its eight bell ringers were women, the report added.

Data also showed more than half or 55 percent of Taobao users are women. Taobao is Alibaba's popular e-commerce marketplace.

According to the report, Chinese shoppers have reportedly spent $9.34 billion online during Single's Day last year. The top-selling product on that sell-out day was beauty products. Because of that, Ma appeared on China Central Television (CCTV) to personally thank Chinese women for their involvement.