Jack Ma to Retire From Alibaba to Focus on Philanthropy

Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma is stepping down from the e-commerce giant he co-founded

Ma started his journey with just U.S. $ 60,000 - loaned to him by friends, and started Alibaba in 1999.

Talking exclusively to The New York Times, Jack Ma said that his retirement will mark the beginning of a new era.

Earlier this week, Mr Ma told Bloomberg TV that he wanted to create a personal foundation, following in the footsteps of Microsoft's Bill Gates.

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

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Ma, who turns 54 on Monday, oversees a number of charitable projects in education and environmental fields. The Chinese e-commerce giant, since then is being managed by its current CEO Daniel Zhang, who is likely to succeed Ma after his retirement.

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. The Hangzhou-based company, which began as an e-commerce marketplace founded with US$60,000, has taken less than two decades to expand into a US$420 billion juggernaut in online shopping, cashless payments, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and even Hollywood movies.

Ma's success was evident after Alibaba's Taobao bested eBay in China, forcing the USA auction site to largely withdraw from the country in 2006. China's biggest e-commerce firm, it now has more than 66,000 full-time employees, according to the company's latest annual filing.

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. "All these things that I've been preparing for 10 years".

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Ma said he sees himself as an accidental executive.

"The first time I used the internet, I touched on the keyboard and I find 'well, this is something I believe, it is something that is going to change the world and change China", Mr Ma once said in an interview.

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

He was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999 and he founded Alibaba alongside 17 other people. "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier".

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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 U.S. and China.

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