Alibaba's Ma Steps Down As Industry Faces Uncertainty
Techlife News|September 14, 2019
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, who helped launch China’s online retailing boom, stepped down as chairman of the world’s biggest e-commerce company Tuesday at a time when its fast-changing industry faces uncertainty amid a U.S.-Chinese tariff war.

Ma, one of China’s wealthiest and best-known entrepreneurs, gave up his post on his 55th birthday as part of a succession announced a year ago. He will stay on as a member of the Alibaba Partnership, a 36-member group with the right to nominate a majority of the company’s board of directors.

Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba in 1999 to connect Chinese exporters to American retailers.

The company has shifted focus to serving China’s growing consumer market and expanded into online banking, entertainment and cloud computing. Domestic businesses accounted for 66% of its $16.7 billion in revenue in the quarter ending in June.

Chinese retailing faces uncertainty amid a tariff war that has raised the cost of U.S. imports.

Growth in online sales decelerated to 17.8% in the first half of 2019 amid slowing Chinese economic growth, down from 2018’s full-year rate of 23.9%.

Alibaba says its revenue rose 42% over a year earlier in the quarter ending in June to $16.7 billion and profit rose 145% to $3.1 billion. Still, that was off slightly from 2018’s full-year revenue growth of 51%.

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