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Jack Ma to step down as Alibaba boss

Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of China's e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, will step down as executive chairman on Monday to spend more time focusing on education.

Ma told the New York Times he will remain on the company's board of directors and mentor the company's management, in an interview with the paper published on Friday.

His retirement was not the end of an era, the former English teacher said, but "the beginning of an era," adding, "I love education."

He had previously scaled down his role in Alibaba by stepping down as CEO in 2013.

Ma, China's richest man, founded Alibaba in 1999 out of his apartment in Hangzhou. It has since become one of the biggest retailers in the world.

The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and has a market value of about $US421 billion.

It is the world's biggest e-commerce company by total value of the merchandise sold across its platforms, which include TMall and Taobao, China's largest online marketplace.

Much of Alibaba's success has been due to its heavy investment in logistics networks to deliver goods across China and its now ubiquitous mobile payment system Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay.

Alongside home-grown internet giants Baidu and Tencent, the company has transformed the Chinese retail landscape in the past decade.

Where China was responsible for 1.0 per cent of global e-commerce transactions a decade ago that number has grown to 40 per cent, according to McKinsey & Company, thanks in part to the rise of e-commerce platforms.

Alibaba's growth has not been without hiccups and has faced problems with Chinese regulators over the high number of counterfeit goods for sale on Taobao.

The US Trade Representative also blacklisted the website in 2016 and 2017 for selling fake goods.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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