Jack Ma bids Alibaba farewell with rock show

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Ma announced plans to resign on September 10, 2018, the anniversary of Alibaba's founding, and Ma's birthday.

The founder also marked his 55th birthday on the occasion. "I think that replacing a man like Jack Ma will be very hard", said Rebecca Fannin, author of a book on the development of Chinese technology companies.

At a time of slowing domestic sales amid the US-China trade war, Alibaba will be run exclusively by Daniel Zhang whose appointment was announced previous year.

He also remains a lifetime partner of Alibaba Partnership, a group drawn from the senior management ranks of Alibaba Group companies and affiliates that has the right to nominate (and in some situations, appoint) up to a simple majority of its board, it adds. He announced past year that he would be standing aside to devote more time to "education, philanthropy and the environment".

The move was part of a process announced a year ago.

Toward the end of the ceremony, Ma, co-founder Lucy Peng, and CEO of Alibaba's technology committee Wang Jian donned rock star-style leather jackets and wigs to perform Chinese pop songs. But even though it's been on the calendar for 12 months, the departure of China's most famous businessperson and its richest man from the head of the company he founded has still been prominent in the news cycle and social media conversation today.

In a quote, which went viral around the world, Ma said he would rather die at a beach than his work table at Alibaba.

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As of 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, the e-commerce powerhouse of China, which set the record for the largest IPO when it went public in the United States in 2014, has a market capitalization of more than 460 billion USA dollars. In March 2018, Zuckerberg said that "one of the biggest mistakes" of Facebook was not digging deeper into the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Ma resigned as Alibaba's CEO on May 10, 2013.

Ma has argued that such a system helps Alibaba to center on long-term development instead of reacting to pressure from financial markets.

Alibaba is one of a group of companies - including Tencent Holding Ltd (騰訊), search engine Baidu.com Inc (百度) and e-commerce rival JD.com Inc (京東) - that have revolutionized shopping, entertainment and consumer services in China.

Ma, a former English teacher, co-founded Alibaba two decades ago in a small shared apartment in Hangzhou city.

"The thing is, I don't want to die in my office".

Market analysts say his biggest challenge will be finding new areas of growth - with Alibaba recently entering the music-streaming sector.

Ma managed to turn his company into an global heavyweight, and the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2014 set a record, becoming the largest IPO in history.

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