Why Jack Ma is retiring at 54 from Alibaba

Why Jack Ma is retiring at 54 from Alibaba

Ma stepped down as Alibaba's chief executive in 2013; the company's current chief executive is Daniel Zhang, who is a candidate to succeed Ma. The Chinese billionaire who had randomly announced his retirement added that he will continue to mentor Alibaba's management. He will focus on his Jack Ma Foundation and dedicate his time to improving education, he told the Times.

Ma told The New York Times that he plans to step down from the company, referring to his retirement as "the beginning of an era" rather than an end.

In an interview with the New York Times Ma said he would step down on September 10 to pursue educational charity work.

Earlier Friday, Ma said he could "retire earlier" during a conversation with Bloomberg about Bill Gates' career. He started Alibaba.com in 1999 as a business-to-business marketplace, backed by $60,000 from 18 co-founders.

Alibaba's growth and Ma's wealth track changes in modern China, in which a burgeoning urban middle class has more money to spend while authorities allowed large accumulations of wealth, especially when connected to forward-thinking enterprises. "I think some day, and soon, I'll go back to teaching".

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It owns a stake in China's hugely popular Twitter-like Weibo platform and in 2015 it bought the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Ma is part of a generation of billionaire entrepreneurs who made their fortunes as China embraced the digital age, creating some of the country's largest and most successful companies in the space of little more than a decade. Alibaba later rolled out Alipay, an online payment service, to facilitate transactions in a country where few people had credit cards. According to Chinese media outlets, he belongs to a family which used to get just United States $ 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.

Its customers use its e-commerce platforms to order products that a year ago led to package reaching 55-million a day.

Ma, 53, is also China's wealthiest individual. He cited Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as an example.

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