Jack Ma, bids goodbye to Alibaba, the company he founded in 1999 and now worth more than $460 billion.
Jack Ma will leave his position as Chairman of the Board on September 10, on the occasion of his 55th birthday.
The businessman, who is considered one of China’s richest personalities, plans to invest his fortune in education.
He follows in the footsteps of his role model Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft who retired from business to become one of the most generous philanthropists in the world.
As a disadvantaged child, Jack Ma had a modest beginning.
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In 1999, he left school to create Alibaba from his apartment in Hangzhou in eastern China, borrowing $60,000 from friends.
Rejected at that time by American investors, he would later make the largest IPO in history on Wall Street in 2014, raising $25 billion.
Alibaba, which now claims more than 750 million active users per month, has contributed to the huge growth in consumption in China through its Taobao and Tmall platforms.
World’s richest lost $760 billion in 2018
The richest people on Earth lost US$511 billion ($760.1b) this year after record first-half gains were obliterated by a succession of bruising market selloffs.
Global trade tensions and worries about a US recession dragged markets lower at year-end, leaving the 500 people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a combined net worth of US$4.7 trillion.
It’s only the second annual decline for the daily wealth index since its 2012 debut, and represents a sharp about-turn from the start of the year, when bullish investors helped propel the fortunes of the richest to a record US$5.6t.
“As of late, investor anxiety has run high,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management. “We do not expect a recession, but we are mindful of the downside risks to global growth.”
Even Jeff Bezos, who recorded the biggest gain for 2018, wasn’t spared the volatility. His fortune peaked at US$168b in September, a US$69b gain. It later tumbled US$53b – more than the market value of Delta or Ford – to leave him with US$115b at year-end.