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What after Jack Ma? Succession plan deepens speculation on Alibaba's future

The "accidental" businessman, who will step down as executive chairman of Alibaba in 12 months, is almost synonymous with Asia's most valuable company

China’s best-known businessman, Jack Ma, has named his successor at Alibaba, the giant e-commerce firm that he co-founded. The 54-year old Mr Ma, who will step down as executive chairman in 12 months, is almost synonymous with Asia’s most valuable company, and is something of an icon in his home country. He has said that he intends to focus on philanthropy, particularly in the education sector in emulation of Microsoft’s Bill Gates. In fact, his charitable foundation is already China’s largest, funded by share options worth about two per cent of Alibaba. Mr Ma, an ...