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Alibaba founder Jack Ma says he sees a 'beginning' after retirement

08 September, 2018, 13:16 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

The retirement makes Ma one of the first founders among a generation of prominent Chinese internet entrepreneurs to step down from their companies. Ma stepped down as Alibaba's chief executive in 2013; the company's current chief executive is Daniel Zhang, who is a candidate to succeed Ma. Despite leaving day-to-day operations, Ma will remain on the board and mentor Alibaba's management.

China's richest man is going step down as executive chairman of the $420-billion Alibaba Group on Monday when he turns 54, he said in an interview with the NYT. His birthday also coincides with a the Chinese holiday of Teacher's Day, which celebrates educators.

Ma started his journey with just United States $ 60,000 - loaned to him by friends, and started Alibaba in 1999.

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". "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier", he said.

More news: Gulf Coast braces for Tropical Storm Gordon to reach hurricane strength

The company, still headquartered in his hometown, initially allowed businesses to sell products to each other online but soon morphed into China's largest online retail market. Ma also controls Ant Financial, the online financial platform that runs China's largest mobile payment system and money-market fund.

Ma's success was evident after Alibaba's Taobao bested eBay in China, forcing the USA auction site to largely withdraw from the country in 2006. It was founded by 18 people, led by Ma, and now has more than 66,000 full-time employees, according to the company's latest annual filing. Ma told Bloomberg earlier this week that he wanted to dedicate more of his time and fortune to philanthropy with the creation of a foundation in his own name focused on education, following in the footsteps of fellow billionaire Bill Gates.

Ma has long shown an admiration for Microsoft founder Bill Gates who has donated vast amounts of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

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