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Jack Ma will step down from his role on Monday - his 54th birthday - and plans to devote his time to philanthropy and education. He would take the company to astronomical heights and make it China's major e-commerce website in the years to come.

He co-founded the company with 17 other people, some of whom were his students, out of his apartment in Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province.

The co-founder of $420the billion internet company, Jack Ma, has announced that he will be retiring from Alibaba on Monday. The Chinese economy is also facing slowing growth and increasing debt, and the country is embroiled in an escalating trade war with the United States. While Ma sees himself as an accidental executive who only entered the business world with Alibaba's founding nearly 20 years ago, he has become one of China's most recognized corporate leaders.

On one hand, Chinese tech companies are facing increased scrutiny by the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, the tech firms are caught in an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

Known as Ma Yun in mainland China, he is scheduled to be in Russia next week to formalise Alibaba's venture with Mail.ru, the internet company owned by Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov and sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). A former teacher, Ma told Bloomberg TV earlier this week he might go back to teaching someday. "All these things that I've been preparing for 10 years".

While Alibaba has become dominant in China, it has faced a tougher time expanding internationally.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr Ma has a net worth of about $40bn (£30.96bn). He said that his departure is not the end but "the beginning of an era".

One example of such a leader is Alibaba CEO and Co-Founder Jack Ma.

"I don't think it means that much, frankly. I've prepared a Jack Ma Foundation", Ma said. Alibaba now also handles digital payments, online banking, cloud computing and digital media and entertainment. He was released and has since returned to Beijing, where JD.com is based.

As Beijing has increased its involvement in the private sector, Ma has shifted what he has said about China's government. "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier", Ma said.