One of World's Richest Men Gives Self Unique Birthday Gift

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, steps down on his 55th birthday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2019 9:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jack Ma turns 55 on Tuesday, and China's richest man is celebrating with a milestone move: He's stepping down as executive chairman of the country's e-commerce behemoth Alibaba. He's doing so "after presiding over one of the most spectacular creations of wealth the world has ever seen," writes Venus Feng at Bloomberg. As befitting his big personality, Ma is going out in style with a party at a sports stadium in Hangzhou that holds 80,000 people. Related coverage:

  • Humble start: Ma is a former English teacher who founded Alibaba with 17 others in 1999. Initially, they worked out of Ma's apartment, per CNBC. The original idea was to sell Chinese goods abroad, but when China's economy took off, Alibaba did as well by selling goods domestically, reports Business Insider.

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