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Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire – CNET

2018 Alibaba Xin Philanthropy Conference

Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma makes a speech at 2018 Alibaba Xin Philanthropy Conference on September 5, 2018.

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One of China’s biggest tech titans is stepping down. 

Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, 53, announced Friday he’s retiring from the e-commerce giant, according to The New York Times. He said the reason he’s leaving is to pursue philanthropic endeavors focused on education.

Ma co-founded Alibaba with 17 other people in 1999. He helped build it into a $420 billion company with more than 500 million Chinese customers who use the site to purchase everything from clothes to cement. Alibaba now also handles digital payments, online banking, cloud computing and digital media and entertainment. 

Over the course of his tenure at Alibaba, Ma became China’s richest man, earning a net worth of more than $40 billion. He will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors. 

Alibaba didn’t immediately return request for comment.