As Jack Ma prepares to move on, here's a look at Alibaba's journey

Mr Jack Ma will step down as executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in 12 months, and will focus on education and philanthropy.
Mr Jack Ma will step down as executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding in 12 months, and will focus on education and philanthropy.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Jack Ma laid out plans for leaving Alibaba Group Holding on Monday (Sept 10), his 54th birthday. China's richest man says he will focus much of his time - and US$40 billion (S$55 billion) fortune - on education and philanthropy.

Mr Ma will step down as executive chairman at the e-commerce giant in 12 months, with chief executive officer Daniel Zhang succeeding him. Mr Ma will then leave the board in 2020.

Here is a look at how Mr Ma turned Alibaba into Asia's most valuable firm:

*1999: Mr Ma founds Alibaba with 17 other people in Hangzhou, China, with US$60,000

*2000: Alibaba Group raises US$20 million from an investor group led by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.

*2003: Mr Ma creates Taobao, an eBay-like site where consumers barter with each other

*2004: Alibaba creates Alipay, the online payments system that grows to become China's largest

 
 
 

*2005: Alibaba takes over operations of Yahoo China

*2008: Taobao Mall (now known as Tmall) is created to allow merchants to sell to customers

*2010: The Alibaba Partnership is established to ensure management control of the company

*2013: Mr Ma steps down as CEO, remains as executive chairman

*2014: Alibaba conducts world's largest initial public offering, raising US$25 billion when it lists in the US

*2015: Current CEO Zhang takes the helm at the company on May 10

*2018: Mr Ma announces plans to step down as executive chairman of Alibaba in 12 months with CEO Zhang succeeding him. Mr Ma will remain on the board until Alibaba's annual meeting of shareholders in 2020.