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Alibaba grew from 18 employees into an international powerhouse by capitalizing on Internet commerce. Now accounting for an incredible 80% share of retail sales online in China. Ant Group operates China's premier online payment platform but has also come under scrutiny from Beijing due to a regulatory crackdown. Daniel Zhang Steps Down Alibaba will replace eight-year veteran Daniel Zhang as leader of its Chinese e-commerce giant as it struggles to recover growth post-Covid. Joseph Tsai, currently executive vice chairman and close confidant to billionaire co-founder Jack Ma, will become chairman, while Eddie Wu will assume CEO duties. As it struggles to achieve growth amid Beijing's crackdown on tech industry and fierce rivalry from competitors, this decision marks another in a string of leadership changes at an organisation which earlier this year underwent massive transformation by splitting into six independent business units able to pursue initial public offerings on their own. Alibaba's cloud unit will undergo significant restructuring over the coming year and become an independent public trading company. Zhang stated in an internal memo announcing this move that moving towards cloud intelligence "will be more efficient from a corporate governance perspective." Wu is widely recognized as being at the helm of Alibaba. He joined in 2007 and played an essential role in creating its flagship Singles Day shopping event, as well as helping guide it through some difficult waters during China's 2008 financial crisis, when restructuring was necessary. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has prioritized building his cloud platform throughout his tenure as CEO. This strategic move can help his company diversify into areas like AI and Internet of Things - areas which have grown increasingly popular in China. Analysts disagree as to whether spinning off Alibaba's cloud unit would boost or dilute its value overall. Alibaba boasts an expansive empire that spans international commerce, logistics and food delivery - but investors remain wary of their strategy; their shares have dropped nearly 8% in just three weeks! Eddie Wu Takes Over China's Alibaba announced on Tuesday a management reshuffle, with executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai being named its new chairman and Eddie Wu as its new CEO. This decision came following Jack Ma's unexpected decision to step down as group chairman earlier in 2018. Ma, China's most-famous entrepreneur, has kept a low profile since late 2020 when he met resistance from regulators after criticizing them and was hit with a record fine for alleged monopolistic behavior. Subsequently, Alibaba faced numerous unprecedented setbacks as Beijing tightened restrictions on domestic tech sectors. In March, Alibaba announced it would divide into six separate business groups with their own boards and CEOs - in one of the biggest overhauls ever undertaken by a major Chinese technology company. This move allows each unit to raise funds independently before embarking on their IPO journey, giving each more autonomy. Wu, known as Wu Yongming, will take over as CEO for Alibaba's e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall Group as well as its cloud computing unit, simultaneously serving as chairman for both. Wu was appointed to this position back in 1999 - initially serving as CTO before spearheading the annual Singles Day shopping event he also started himself! Alibaba states that their decision to name Wu group CEO symbolizes their unwavering trust in him to lead one of its most precious businesses and drive sustainable growth in this age of AI. In other words, this decision underscores how critical cloud services will likely become to Alibaba given how rapidly it has expanded and generated so much data. Ma's new job will allow him to dedicate more time and attention to his personal projects, like One Family charity initiative last year and investing in tech start-ups through his fund for entrepreneurs and investments in several start-ups. Ma has also taken up teaching at a university in Tokyo as well as spending more time in China. Joseph Tsai Takes Over as Chairman Joseph Tsai is an influential Taiwanese-Canadian businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist. He co-founded and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group - an internet technology firm. Additionally, Tsai serves as its Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Affairs. Tsai has earned himself a reputation as a hands-on leader at Alibaba, overseeing their various businesses and investment strategies while prioritizing long-term sustainability. Over his 22-year tenure at the company he has learned valuable lessons about leadership; among these is humility in hiring those smarter than yourself as well as giving credit where credit is due. Furthermore he emphasizes self-awareness as well as learning to listen more than speak more often. Tsai serves in several roles for Alibaba in addition to being its Chairman. These roles include being Governor and Chairman of BSE Global, which oversees both the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Barclays Center, its home arena. He also owns New York Liberty of WNBA and Las Vegas Desert Dogs of NBA G League in addition to various media companies in North America and Europe. As of early 2020, Forbes estimated Tsai had amassed a net worth of approximately $22 billion. His stake in Alibaba amounts to approximately 7% of its shares, making him one of the wealthiest people worldwide. Tsai remains active in charitable causes despite his vast wealth, being highly esteemed among the Chinese community. Additionally, he enjoys watching sports and making large donations to educational institutions - including Yale University where he earned both undergraduate and law degrees. Tsai is a founding member of both the New York-based Chinese American Civic Fund and United States-China Entrepreneurship and Innovation Foundation. Additionally, in 2019, Tsai donated $10 million to Yale School of Management for construction of their inaugural Asian-American student center. Tsai is widely known for his generous philanthropy and has also been an outspoken champion for human rights in China. ESPN regularly highlights his public criticism of Chinese government repression of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang; additionally he invested in Megvii and SenseTime which have been used by Chinese authorities as tools of suppression. Jack Ma Returns China's best-known entrepreneur, Jack Ma, made an unexpected public return after nearly one year overseas. On Monday afternoon, Ma, 58, visited an Alibaba-funded school in Hangzhou according to South China Morning Post newspaper owned by Alibaba and discussed new technological changes with school directors. Ma, who retired as Alibaba chairman on his 55th birthday in 2019, pledged to devote his post-retirement days to philanthropy and rural education. Since his departure, reports of Ma traveling across Europe, Japan and Thailand are making headlines - something China watchers closely monitor for signs on Beijing's attitude towards private businesses. No clear signal has emerged as to whether Zhang's departure and Ma's reentry indicate China has softened its approach to its internet sector or whether Alibaba decided to refocus its strategy. Recently, Alibaba unveiled an ambitious restructuring plan which seeks to reduce costs while prioritizing growth-inducing areas over administrative tasks. Alibaba's new CEO recently announced that the company would focus on three core sectors: cloud computing, logistics, and international commerce. Furthermore, research and development will also be invested in to develop artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and blockchain technologies - moves intended to help the company recover after posting disappointing results and warning that consumer spending in China may take longer than anticipated to recover. Investors were pleased with Alibaba's announcement, sending shares skyward by as much as 4% shortly after news broke. Shares continued climbing throughout Tuesday but eventually gave back most of their gains. Li is an influential ally of President Xi who has spearheaded efforts by his government to boost private sector. At an economic forum earlier this month, Li promised that China's environment for entrepreneurial firms will improve and that Beijing will treat all companies equally. But it remains unclear if he pushed Ma back into business or not; nevertheless, his presence may provide much-needed confidence boost among entrepreneurs.