Jack Ma Yun, the executive chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, has solidified his status as the face of China’s booming information technology industry in a new KPMG survey that ranked him as the third leading innovation visionary in the world. Tesla chairman and chief executive Elon Musk and Apple chief executive Tim Cook were the only two business leaders ahead of Ma in the consultancy’s latest global technology innovation survey, which polled 841 hi-tech industry executives around the world. “What Jack Ma has consistently done is rise up to the challenges in his industry with major initiatives,” said Egidio Zarrella, the head of clients and innovation at KPMG China. Ma, who founded New York-listed Alibaba in 1999, has been leading the way for the rapid adoption of e-commerce in mainland China. In October, Ma predicted a radical change in the global retail industry over the coming years, when the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain transforms current e-commerce industry into “traditional business”. “This is why we are adapting, and it’s why we strive to play a major role in the advancement of this new economic environment,” Ma wrote in a letter to shareholders. “Over the next 30 years, with computing power as the new ‘technology breakthrough’ and data as the new ‘natural resource’, the landscape of retail, financial services, manufacturing and entertainment will be transformed,” Ma said. Alibaba, meanwhile, was ranked by respondents in the KPMG survey as the seventh-leading company globally that is spearheading technological innovation. It was tied in the seventh spot with Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX. They were ahead of Samsung Electronics and Cisco Systems in the top-10 ranking. Hangzhou-based Alibaba operates a vast online marketplaces for merchants, brands and other businesses in China to engage with domestic and overseas consumers. It has steadily expanded into other industries, including financial services, health care, entertainment, media and enterprise information technology services. It owns the South China Morning Post . Alibaba’s retail operations are supported by subsidiary Alibaba Cloud. Founded in 2009, Alibaba Cloud has since become the largest online infrastructure services provider in China.