China’s richest man Jack Ma to retire from Alibaba on his birthday

Ruben Fields
September 8, 2018

Ma helped build it into a $420 billion company with more than 500 million Chinese customers.

While Ma has been serving as Alibaba's executive chairman after handing the CEO title to David Zhang in 2013, the New York Times reports that Zhang is a candidate to take over his chairman duties. The Chinese billionaire who had randomly announced his retirement added that he will continue to mentor Alibaba's management.

In retirement, Ma said he will focus his time-and money-on education.

The charismatic Ma told the Times that he plans to retire on Monday, at the age of 54, saying this marks "the beginning of a new era".

Jack Ma or Ma Yun, left, Chairman of Alibaba Group, talks with Malcolm Turnbull during his visit at headquarters of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. He said he will be spending more of his time and fortune to pursue philanthropy in education.

Earlier Friday, Ma said he could "retire earlier" during a conversation with Bloomberg about Bill Gates' career.

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Musk spoke for more than 2½ hours on topics ranging from the dangers of artificial intelligence to his use of Twitter . Tesla, which is valued at $45 billion, has promised to revolutionise motoring with its electric cars.

Alibaba started as an online marketplace for businesses to sell their products to other businesses.

Alibaba has been referred to as the Amazon of China. The company owns or holds stakes in some of China's most important media assets, including the Twitter-like social media site Weibo and the Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper The South China Morning Post.

It transformed how Chinese people shop and pay for things, especially through the now ubiquitous Alipay digital payment service.

Notably, while Ma had stepped down as the Alibaba CEO nearly eight years back, he remained the face of the company at top political and business events and he played an important role in devising the company's long term strategy.

One of China's biggest tech titans is stepping down.

Its customers use its e-commerce platforms to order products that previous year led to package reaching 55-million a day. He cited Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as an example.

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