Alibaba’s Jack Ma To Retire To Focus on Philanthropy

Alibaba’s Jack Ma To Retire To Focus on Philanthropy

Alibaba’s Jack Ma To Retire To Focus on Philanthropy

Nearly two decades later, Alibaba is an internet juggernaut and Ma is among the world's richest men, with a net worth of more than $40 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Ma has been backing away from Alibaba over the past few years, stepping down as chief executive officer in 2013 but remaining very involved in the company's strategic planning, according to the Times.

In an exclusive New York Times interview, the Chinese billionaire said on Friday that his retirement was not the end of an era but "the beginning of an era".

Ma's retirement makes him one of the first founders of a generation of Chinese internet entrepreneurs to step down. Alibaba is China's largest corporation and, with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, is now valued at $420 billion. Morley brought young Ma to Australia in 1985 for his first overseas trip, when he spent almost a month in Newcastle, an experience which the Chinese businessman said had "totally changed my future". Ma is a man "who deftly maneuvered through the discontinuities and barriers in China to create one of the greatest companies in the world", as Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates, DFJ, and Draper University said.

He will turn 54 on Monday, which is also a holiday in China known as Teacher's Day. "This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba", he said.

After being knocked back by U.S. venture capitalists in 1999, a cash-strapped Ma persuaded friends to give him $60,000 to start Alibaba, which operated out of an apartment in Hangzhou.


At events, he is often met with screaming fans.

Ma also keeps a high worldwide profile, frequently inviting global leaders to the company's Hangzhou headquarters.

The company had a market value of about $420 billion as of Friday's close.

Ma's retirement comes at an tough time for the Chinese tech industry.

Ma also controls Ant Financial, the online financial platform that runs China's largest mobile payment system and money-market fund. Authorities have increasingly sought to regulate the industry where Alibaba and main rival Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) are battling for consumers.

Trade tensions also present a new challenge for Chinese tech firms, especially those like Alibaba which are expanding overseas rapidly. It reported a total revenue of 158 billion ($23 billion) last fiscal year. Through his lawyers, he has denied any wrongdoing.

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