Alibaba founder steps down as CEO

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Alibaba founder Jack Ma stepped down as Alibaba CEO and gave his place to Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi on Friday evening in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, at a 10th anniversary celebration of, the country's largest online shopping site.

Alibaba founder steps down as CEO
Former Alibaba CEO Ma Yun (looking left) hugs his successor Lu Zhaoxi, also known as Jonathan Lu, in Hangzhou on Friday. [China Daily]

Ma first announced the decision on January 15. Alibaba chose Ma's successor in March. But Ma will continue to serve as chairman and make strategic decisions.

"I am CEO of Alibaba until midnight and I will embrace my new life starting tomorrow," the 48-year-old businessman spoke at the celebration.

He also reviewed the history of Alibaba Group, Taobao's parent company, and said he wanted to give young people more chance.

Ma's successor, 43-year-old Lu, Alibaba executive vice president, has been working for the group since 2000, founding the sales team and its online payment service, Alipay.

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