Jack Ma giving up the reins of Alibaba Group

Jack Ma giving up the reins of Alibaba Group

Jack Ma turns 55 on Tuesday, and China's richest man is celebrating with a milestone move: He's stepping down as executive chairman of the country's e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

This is also Teacher's Day in China, which lines up with Ma previously being a teacher.

He is set to remain a member of Alibaba's partnership, a corporate governing group of 38 individuals that is separate from the board of directors.

Rising from a humble background, Jack Ma founded and led Alibaba to become Asia's most valuable listed company with a market capitalization of $460 billion.

The company has shifted its focus to serving China's growing consumer market. About 60,000 Alibaba staff and guests, clad in white T-shirts with the e-commerce giant's logo, rocked the venue as they cheered a parade of the company's various business units on the pitch as well as the performances of invited singers and clients' representatives. Domestic businesses accounted for 66 per cent of its United States dollars 16.7 billion in revenue in the quarter ending in June.

Chinese retailing is facing increased risks during the current trade war between China and the United States. By comparison, the biggest US e-commerce company, Amazon.com Inc., reported total sales of $277 billion. Still, that was off slightly from 2018's full-year revenue growth of 51%.

Joe Tsai is Alibaba's deputy chairman.

Da-mi, tell us more.

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Alibaba was founded at a time when few Chinese were online.

Alongside home-grown internet giants Baidu and Tencent, the company has transformed the Chinese retail landscape in the past decade. With his almost $40 billion fortune, Jack Ma is China's richest man.

In 2015, the businessman bought The South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's biggest English-language newspaper.

According to BBC, Daniel Zhang, Alibaba's chief executive, will replace him as executive chairman. At an annual Alibaba employee festival in Hanzhou, he has sung pop songs in costumes that have included blond wigs and leather jackets. It links foreign buyers with Chinese suppliers of goods from home goods to medical technology. Alibaba also operates a film studio and invested in planning and transport services.

Alibaba didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"If Alibaba wants to find new innovations or trends this is going to be more hard than before", analyst Liu Yiming said, adding that it will be a "big challenge" for Zhang. Alibaba and shareholders Yahoo and Japan's Softbank later settled the dispute.

"Today isn't about Jack Ma retiring but the beginning of a succession system", he said. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. was the editor.

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