"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.
Two Injured, Three Killed in Cincinnati Bank Shooting
Bank employees sheltered in situ for an hour or more as officers swept the building and cordoned off several downtown city blocks. The Hamilton County Coroner's office identified the victims as Pruthvi Kandepi, 25; Luis Calderon, 48; and Richard Newcomer, 64.
Trump escalates attacks on his attorney general
The president has repeatedly denied there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. Could Trump be guilty of obstruction of justice? "Obviously", said Rep.
In Israel visit, Philippines' Duterte dogged by past rhetoric
During the official visits , the President is also scheduled to meet the Filipino communities in Israel and Jordan. Right after his meeting with Netanyahu, Duterte laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial.
"I am very thankful for Australia and the time I spent there in my youth", Ma said during his visit.
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.