The founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma stepped down as the chairman of the company on his 55th birthday on September 10. The decision came when the industry is facing problems due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Ma was responsible for the launch of online business in China with Alibaba which later became one of the world's largest e-commerce companies. A year ago, Ma announced that the company's present CEO Daniel Zhang will become his successor. He will, however, remain as a member of Alibaba Partnership.
Ma was an English teacher before he founded Alibaba in the year 1999 in order to have a link between the Chinese exporters and American retailers. He will continue as a member of the 36-member group, Alibaba Partnership, that has the authority to choose a majority of the board of directors of Alibaba Group. He is also a popular figure who makes a lot of television appearances. Ma's assets reportedly are over 38 billion dollars, which makes him one of the richest entrepreneurs in China. He bought Hong Kong's most popular English newspaper called South China Morning Post in 2015.
The focus of Alibaba is now more on China's growing consumer market. It has developed in the sector of online banking, entertainment, and cloud computing. Towards the end of June, the national business of the company accounted for 66% of its $16.7 billion. The market of China is facing problems because of the uncertainty created by the current trade war going on between China and the US that has raised the tariff of the US goods imported. The online sector saw no growth and went down to 17.8% by the mid of 2019 as compared to 23.9% last year, making it very difficult for the Chinese economy to grow. The deputy chairman of the company, Joe Tsai while speaking to the media in May said that Alibaba is on the right side of issues in US-China trade talks and it is to benefit from Beijing's assurance of increasing import of goods and growing consumer market.
A really less number of Chinese were on the online platform when Alibaba was founded. With the growth of the internet, the company also grew its market into consumer-focused retailing and services. Alibaba even provided international shipping to many major countries. People across the globe did purchasing from Alibaba since they provided a variety of products at normal costs. The Chinese population did not use credit cards much so the company built a new online payment system. It's business plans involve business-to-business Alibaba.com, a link between Chinese suppliers and foreign buyers.
(With inputs from AP)