Economy

Tearful Ma bids Alibaba farewell with rock star show

Tearful Ma bids Alibaba farewell with rock star show

Alibaba Group Holding's new executive chairman, Daniel Zhang Yong, pledged to advance the e-commerce giant's strategies of expanding beyond China, serving domestic consumption and pushing into advanced technologies in a speech at the company's 20th anniversary celebration on Tuesday.

Ma turned 55 Thursday, coinciding with the company's anniversary.

In an interview with the New York Times previous year Ma said that he would like to focus on education and philanthropy.

Ma, a former English teacher, announced on September 10 last year that he would step down on the day this year.

Ma handled over the CEO position in 2013 and made an announcement in an open letter on September 10, 2018, saying that he would step down in a year, with the company CEO Daniel Zhang taking over as the new chairman.

Ma will be replaced by current executive director of Alibaba Group, Daniel Zhang.

Ma announced his retirement plans previous year, saying at the time he wanted to spend more time focusing on education.

Ma stayed on for a year to "ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship".

The founder of the Chinese Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, left his post as the board of directors chairman on Tuesday and retired, as promised exactly a year ago.

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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.

Attributing the company's success to the good fortune which came from its desire to promote the progress of society and help small enterprises and employees grow, Ma said he was lucky to find a competent team.

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"Today marks not my retirement, but the beginning of a new corporate governance scheme of Alibaba and the next stage of the company's future development", he said. Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma speaking duirng the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum in China.

The company is the world's largest internet company with a value of $480 billion, and Ma, a former English teacher, is China's richest man with a net worth of $38.6 billion according to Forbes. In March 2018, Zuckerberg said that "one of the biggest mistakes" of Facebook was not digging deeper into the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Two decades ago, he co-founded the e-commerce giant with 17 colleagues in an apartment in Hangzhou.

"I think someday, and soon, I'll go back to teaching".

In 2002, Alibaba.com became profitable three years after launch.

Ma managed to turn his company into an global heavyweight, and the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2014 set a record, becoming the largest IPO in history.

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