ibusinesslines.com September 19, 2018

Jack Ma, Alibaba co-founder and China’s richest man, announces retirement

08 September 2018, 10:58 | Jodi Jackson

China's richest man Jack Ma will retire on Monday

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

Xi has tightened control over businesses, especially ones that allow people to communicate over the Internet, and gone after billionaires who have mismanaged companies, allegedly committed crimes, such as bribery, or run afoul of Chinese politics. 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. He will remain on Alibaba's board of directors.

Over the course of his tenure, Ma has also become China's richest man with a net worth of more than $40 billion. Monday is his 54th birthday, and the Chinese holiday Teacher's Day, making the announcement particularly timely.

Ma, a former English teacher, co-founded Alibaba in 1999.

"When Jack Ma speaks longingly of retirement from Alibaba, there's no reason not to take him at his word", said Silvers.

In an interview with the New York Times Ma said he would step down on September 10 to pursue educational charity work.

The Alibaba empire now spans well beyond online retail and payments to include cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, with sterling revenue growth that jumped another 61 % in the quarter ending June 30.

It owns a stake in China's hugely popular Twitter-like Weibo platform and in 2015 it bought the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Last month, Alibaba reported a 60 percent increase in quarterly sales, even as profits fell. Ant Financial has revenues of about $40 billion a year. The company has increased its presence outside China by investing in e-commerce and online finance companies in India and Southeast Asia. Ma was among the first foreign business leaders to meet with Donald Trump after his election. "There's no country like China in the world", he said. 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.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV this week, Ma signalled he was thinking about focusing more on philanthropy. "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier". He cited Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as an example.

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