The influence of Alibaba founder Jack Ma endures, even though he stepped down from one of the world's largest e-commerce businesses this September.
To honor his entrepreneurship, the former Alibaba chairman was presented with the Malcolm S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award at the high-profile Forbes Global CEO conference held in Singapore on Tuesday night.
Ma is believed to be the first internet entrepreneur to win the award since it was established 13 years ago.
The prize is of great significance this year as 2019 marks the 100th birthday of Forbes's founder, Malcolm Forbes, Forbes Media chair and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes said at the ceremony.
Forbes praised Ma as one of the great entrepreneurial heroes in today's world, but also in history. He said Ma not only created the global e-commerce giant, but also helped promote the boom of small and micro-enterprises worldwide.
In 2000 when the Chinese business magnate was first listed as one of the world's most powerful people by Forbes, he said in an interview Alibaba has changed the world. He believed that he could manage to make it easy to do business anywhere.
Now the company has grown to become Asia's most valuable listed enterprise, with a market capitalization of $460 billion. It employs over 100,000 people and has expanded into financial services, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
It is not the first international prize Ma received after retirement. In late September, Ma was awarded a medal from King Philip of Belgium to commend his spirit of entrepreneurship.
Chinese netizens congratulated Ma, saying "dream big, help more, achieve lifelong" while applauding Ma's contribution in developing online business Taobao, and his passion for global public welfare and rural education. Many believed Ma could receive more awards in the future no matter what his pursuits.