Jack Ma Officially Steps Down as Alibaba's Chairman

Alibaba's Jack Ma steps down as industry faces uncertainty

China's largest e-commerce company, led until this week by legendary entrepreneur Jack Ma, has announced six core values on Tuesday. His departure marks the completion of his plan to pass the reigns of the company onto a successor.

Ma returned to Hupan Garden, the birthplace of Alibaba, on the eve of the company's 20th anniversary.

Ma's retirement announcement past year sparked off speculation that he may be stepping down due to prevailing business environment in China.

"The value of life should be seen in what a man has experienced and not in what he has received", Ma said, noting that he is not "retiring" but to spend more time and energy on education, philanthropy and environmental protection.

Ma had made the surprise announcement of retirement a year ago, sending shockwaves in his company as well as business circles of the world's second largest economy.

Ma had previously scaled down his role in Alibaba by stepping down as CEO in 2013, staying with the conglomerate in the capacity of executive chairman to develop strategies and talent, as well as work on its "social responsibilities" efforts.

He announced his retirement a year ago to spend more time on his philanthropy and educational activities.

This move has been coming for a year - Ma took the opportunity of 2018's Teachers' Day, an annual celebration of educational professionals, to announce his decision.

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Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, has officially retired at the age of 55.

Ma referenced his previous teaching career to explain why he wanted to step down from his company.

Jack Ma also holds a 6.22 percent stake in the company.

In a quote, which went viral around the world, Ma said he would rather die at a beach than his work table at Alibaba.

Alibaba's deputy chairman, Joe Tsai, told reporters in May the company is "on the right side" of issues in U.S. In March 2018, Zuckerberg said that "one of the biggest mistakes" of Facebook was not digging deeper into the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Hangzhou native, a former English teacher, said he had been preparing for this moment for 10 years, and he called on businesses to truly embrace sustainable development, inclusiveness and altruism, the three biggest factors for a successful business.

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.

The company's US$25 billion initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2014 was the biggest to date by a Chinese company.

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