Jack Ma plans to step down from Alibaba on Monday

Jack Ma plans to step down from Alibaba on Monday

For Alibaba, Ma's retirement completes a transition of power to other executives.

Ma said the move will be "the beginning of an era" and revealed that he may now focus on education, which he "loves".

Alibaba co-founder and chief Jack Ma announced on September 7, 2018 he will leave from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday.

As per a Reuters report, while Ma's retirement marks a milestone in the company's history, analysts believe and industry insiders believe that it is highly unlikely that his involvement in the company will change significantly.

"He's a symbol of the health of China's private sector and how high they can fly whether he likes it or not", Duncan Clark, author of the book "Alibaba: The House Jack Ma Built", said of Ma.

Mr Ma, who will be 54 on Monday, has a net personal wealth of $40bn, making him the third richest person in China, according to the 2017 Forbes' China rich list. "This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba".

Ma oversees a number of charitable projects in education and environmental fields. He is a cult figure in China's internet industry and has attracted a big following among entrepreneurs and in pop culture.

Ma maintains a prominent worldwide profile, frequently inviting global leaders to the company's Hangzhou headquarters.

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Ma also controls Ant Financial, the online financial platform that runs China's largest mobile payment system and money-market fund.

Ma is retiring as China's business environment has soured, with Beijing and state-owned enterprises increasingly playing more interventionist roles with companies.

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

The succession plans come at a tricky time for Chinese tech firms.

Trade tensions also present a new challenge for Chinese tech firms, especially those like Alibaba which are expanding overseas rapidly.

Ma's decision also comes as USA police investigate an allegation of rape against Richard Liu, head of e-commerce rival JD.com Inc (JD.O), which has hammered its shares. Liu, who goes by Richard Liu in the English-speaking world, was arrested on a rape allegation in Minneapolis during a business trip.

He is one of the most colorful of China's growing crop of billionaires, performing a Michael Jackson-inspired dance routine at the company's 18th anniversary celebration a year ago, and starring in his own kung fu short film.

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