Amidst intensifying US-China trade war, multi-billion dollar e-commerce giant, Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma has stepped down as the Chairman on Tuesday as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Jack, who turned 55 on Tuesday, had announced last year that he would retire within a year, with the company CEO Daniel Zhang taking over as the Chairman of the board.
The co-founder of the Internet giant likes to describe his relationship with Alibaba as that of a parent to a child. “It’s like weaning a child. It’s good for both the mother and the child. Even if her kid cried, she would not budge, as she knew it was a wise decision and a process of growing up,” according to a report in Xinhua.
“Ma’s Hangzhou apartment is where it all began for Alibaba. On the eve of the company’s 20th birthday, we took him back to reflect on those early days and what it took to build Alibaba into what it is today,” the Alibaba Group tweeted while sharing a video in which Ma is shown describing his journey spanning two decades.
Jack Ma Returns to Hupan Garden: Birthplace of Alibaba. Ma’s Hangzhou apartment in 1999 is where it all began for Alibaba. On the eve of the company’s 20th birthday, we took him back to to reflect on those early days and what it took to build Alibaba into what it is today. pic.twitter.com/3WdzjLvhdb
— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) September 9, 2019
“It’s the dreams that keep us working hard. It’s the dreams that make us never afraid of the mistakes. Alibaba’s success did not come without doubts and setbacks. We couldn’t get staff as the name of the company sounded strange, and many people thought e-commerce had no future in China,” Ma was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Attributing the company’s success to the good fortune which came from its desire to promote the progress of society and help small enterprises and employees grow, Ma said he was lucky to find a competent team.
Before starting Alibaba in 1999 in an underground garage, Ma studied at Hangzhou Normal University after twice failing the national college entrance exams and became an English teacher after graduation. Depicting himself as a man without a professional business and technology education, Ma said his experience of being a teacher played an important role in turning him into an entrepreneur.
Ma in an open letter announced his retirement and said he wants to return to education, which gives him excitement and blessings.
(With input from agencies)