Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Jack Ma plans to step down from Alibaba on Monday

Jack Ma plans to step down from Alibaba on Monday

Expressing his love for education, Jack Ma said that he will be spending most of his time and fortune to focus on education.

While Ma's retirement from a formal role is a milestone, analysts and industry professionals say it is unlikely Ma's involvement will change significantly. Initially developed as a business-to-business e-commerce solution.

On one hand, Chinese tech companies are facing increased scrutiny by the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, the tech firms are caught in an escalating trade war between the USA and China.

He co-founded the company with 17 other people, some of whom were his students, out of his apartment in Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province.

Ma stepped down as CEO of Alibaba in 2013.

Over the course of his tenure, Ma has also become China's richest man with a net worth of more than $40 billion. But Ma on Thursday told Bloomberg TV that he was mulling an early retirement similar to Bill Gates' early exit from Microsoft.

The company had a market value of about $420 billion as of Friday's close.

According to Chinese media outlets, he belongs to a family which used to get just USA $ 40 each month to take care of its needs.Yet, Ma managed to graduate from Hangzhou Teachers College with a major in English-language education. In China, it's also a holiday known as "Teacher's Day".

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"I don't think it means that much, frankly".

As Beijing has increased its involvement in the private sector, Ma has shifted what he has said about China's government.

In 2014, he created the Jack Ma Foundation, which has worked to improve education in rural China. "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier", Ma said.

A focus on education wouldn't surprise keen followers of Ma, who has spoken frequently of its importance to him.

Ma has thrived in the spotlight as he became a much sought-after guest for conferences around the world, even as tensions between China and the USA have risen over trade. "This is a common language we have. It should be a war against poverty, disease et cetera".

Jack Ma, who co-founded the world's largest e-commerce platform, will unveil a succession strategy next week, part of a management plan 10 years in the making for grooming a generation of younger executives to take over the reins of Asia's most valuable company.

"It's the system which I think I have contributed to along with my team and this will be able to make the company last long", Ma said.

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