Jack Ma to Retire From Alibaba to Focus on Philanthropy

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He has told the New York Times that he will now focus on philanthropy in education. The Times story was taken out of context and is factually wrong, the report quoted the spokesman as saying.

"This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba", he told Bloomberg TV recently. Ma helped build it into a $420 billion company with more than 500 million Chinese customers. Ma's net worth is $39.9 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

"A physical Alibaba headquarters is a key step in ensuring Australian businesses have the support and information they need to succeed in China and the rest of the world", Zhou said at the time. The Chinese economy is also facing slowing growth and increasing debt, and the country is embroiled in an escalating trade war with the United States. One of those is entertainment, through its Alibaba Pictures arm, which owns a stake in Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, and through its hugely popular movie-ticket sales app, Tao Piao Piao.

Ma said he could never be as rich as Gates - but that he could retire earlier than Gates.

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.

Mr Ma began his professional life teaching English at a university in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, in eastern Zhejiang province.

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"I am very thankful for Australia and the time I spent there in my youth", Ma said during his visit.

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, waves as he arrives at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, September 19, 2014.

As a general rule, research indicates there is roughly a 30 per cent survival rate for family businesses in the second generation, deteriorating to 12 per cent in the third. According to the paper current CEO Daniel Zhang is a "candidate" to replace Ma, who plans to pursue philanthropy in education.

The way he chose to make the announcement was unusual.

Ma, who boasts a net worth of almost $40 billion(€34 billion), making him China's richest man, said he would use his retirement to focus on his philanthropic work, mainly around education. This is not about retiring, stepping away, or backing off. The company has increased its presence outside China by investing in e-commerce and online finance companies in India and Southeast Asia.

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