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Alibaba’s Jack Ma to step down in 2019, pledges smooth transition

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Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down in 2019, pledges smooth transitionAlibaba co-founder Jack Ma announced on Monday he would step down as head of the pioneering Chinese e-commerce giant in one year, a departure already drawing comparisons to the retirement of late Apple founder Steve Jobs. Analysts said the early withdrawal of 54-year-old Ma, the charismatic face of a company that has revolutionised how and what China’s people consume, will challenge Alibaba to carry on Ma’s vision amid rising competition. “Day-to-day operations-wise Alibaba will not be affected that much.