Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

"He stepped back from the CEO role about four or five years ago and very specifically made a comment about wanting the younger people to lead the company", said Kevin Carter, founder of The Emerging Markets Internet exchange-trade fund. According to the paper current CEO Daniel Zhang is a "candidate" to replace Ma, who plans to pursue philanthropy in education.

He now has a net worth of about $39 billion, Forbes estimated, making him the second-richest person in China and the 20th-richest in the world.

Beijing has announced plans to regulate the country's highly popular video game industry, including restrictions on the number of new releases to address concerns over children's eyesight and gaming addiction. I've prepared a Jack Ma Foundation. Numerous co-founders are still around, and professionals who joined the company later are now in charge. Another Chinese internet giant, Tencent Holdings, which owns some of the biggest game franchises in the world, posted a rare drop in profits last month as it confronts tighter government regulations.

Earlier this year regulators shot down a $1.2-billion bid for money transfer service Moneygram International Inc by Ant Financial on national security grounds, which the company said was related to "geopolitical" changes.

While Alibaba has become dominant in China, it has faced a tougher time expanding internationally.

Seeing an opportunity for small businesses to buy and sell their goods online, he started Alibaba, initially running the company out of his apartment in the eastern city of Hangzhou, where the company's headquarters remains. He used to say that businesses should be in love with the government but never get married to each other, indicating that an arms-length relationship was preferred. "With political stability, social safety and 6 percent-plus economic growth, we have the best business environment".

Ma told The New York Times that he plans to step down from the company on Monday - his 54th birthday - referring to his departure as "the beginning of an era" rather than an end.

"I think some day, and soon, I'll go back to teaching". Within Alibaba, he is known and referred to as "Teacher Ma".

In an interview earlier this week, Ma had signaled that he was thinking about focusing more on philanthropy.

Ma was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999 and built it into a multibillion-dollar internet colossus, becoming one of the world's richest men and a revered figure in his homeland.

Ma has long shown an admiration for Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has donated vast amounts of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

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