Jack Ma retires as Alibaba's chairman

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 11, 2019
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Alibaba Group's founder Jack Ma at a celebration of the company's 20th anniversary in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday evening. [Photo/VCG]

Jack Ma officially stepped down as group chairman of Alibaba Tuesday, handing over the position to the company CEO Daniel Zhang.

It is a special day for both the Chinese billionaire and the e-commerce giant he co-founded.

Ma, a former English teacher, turns 55 Tuesday, which also marked the 20th anniversary of Alibaba Group and coincided with Teachers' Day.

Ma handed over the CEO position in 2013 and made an announcement in an open letter on Sept. 10, 2018, saying that he would step down in a year, with Zhang taking over.

Yet his retirement is not a goodbye. He will continue to serve on Alibaba's board of directors until the general meeting of shareholders in 2020 and remain a permanent member of Alibaba's partners and employee No.1.

"Alibaba never belonged only to Jack Ma, but he will always be with Alibaba," he wrote in the open letter last September.

With a starting fund of 500,000 yuan (about 70,000 U.S. dollars), Ma founded Alibaba in a residential community in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, on Sept. 10, 1999, together with his 17 partners.

Last month, Alibaba reported a strong revenue growth in the first quarter of the 2020 fiscal year ending June 30, with a 42 percent year-on-year increase to 114.9 billion yuan and a 30.95-billion-yuan net profit, up 54 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.

As of 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, the e-commerce powerhouse of China, which set the record for the largest IPO when it went public in the United States in 2014, has a market capitalization of more than 460 billion U.S. dollars.

Jack Ma's 20 years with Alibaba has ushered in the booming e-commerce industry into China and cultivated the country's online consumption potential which amazed the world.

The Singles' Day sales on Alibaba's online shopping platforms including Tmall and Taobao reached a record 213.5 billion yuan last year, which was over 4,200 times more than that of 2009 when the company launched the annual online shopping promotion on Nov. 11.

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