Alibaba's Jack Ma steps down as industry faces uncertainty
11 September, 2019, 03:38
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, who helped launch China's online retailing boom, stepped down as chairman of the world's biggest e-commerce company Tuesday at a time when its fast-changing industry faces uncertainty amid a U.S.
The businessman will also continue mentoring the company's management as he remains a lifetime partner in a corporate governing body called Alibaba Partnership, which has the right to nominate directors to the company's board.
In a move first announced past year, Ma is handing over the reins to current CEO Daniel Zhang, who now faces the hard task of steering Asia's most valuable listed firm at a time when growth in its core e-commerce sector has slowed significantly, China's economy is faltering and trade tensions are on the rise.
"'Jack has been signaling for some time his interests in philanthropy, environment, women's empowerment, education, and development", said Duncan Clark, the author of 'Alibaba: "The House That Jack Ma Built".
Costumed performers, some dancing to dubstep music and dressed in traditional Chinese dress, and singers paid tribute to Ma's reputation for dressing up and performing at big events, entering to a parade of floats representing Alibaba divisions such as shopping site Tmall and payment service Ant Financial.
Although some people see a linkage in the timing of Ma's exit as the Chinese government's efforts at tightening grip on internet companies, Ma has denied Beijing's pressure has anything to do with his retirement.
Jack Ma's charismatic leadership made him one of the most recognised Chinese entrepreneurs.
Alibaba stock was up 0.62 percent in after-hours trade on Monday.
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