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Alibaba named Eddie Wu as new CEO

Alibaba Group Holding, a Chinese e-commerce company that has been facing challenges in market share and growth recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, is undergoing leadership changes. Daniel Zhang, the chief executive who has been with the company for eight years, will be replaced by Joseph Tsai, the executive vice chairman, who will assume the role of chairman of the board. Eddie Wu, the chairman of Alibaba’s core Taobao and Tmall online commerce divisions, will take over as the chief executive of the company, which has a market value of $240 billion.

Overview of the news

The unexpected departure of Daniel Zhang from Alibaba follows the company’s announcement of a restructuring plan aimed at enhancing growth and establishing independent leaders for various business sectors such as cloud computing, logistics, and international commerce. Zhang had recently outlined his detailed vision for this restructuring. However, the timing coincided with Alibaba reporting its third consecutive quarter of single-digit revenue growth. This reinforced concerns that a rebound in Chinese consumer spending might take longer than initially anticipated.

Zhang will retain his position as the head of Alibaba’s cloud business. He assumed leadership in 2015, having gained recognition as one of the key figures behind Alibaba’s “new retail” strategy, which aimed to merge online and physical retail and expand the company’s influence into various sectors including malls and supermarkets. As Alibaba’s growth soared, Zhang was appointed chairman a few years later, and the company even reached the status of being China’s most valuable corporation at one point.

In 2020, regulatory actions were taken against Jack Ma and his company, Ant Group Co., following disagreements with regulators. Subsequently, the Chinese government initiated a crackdown on the private technology sector, and Alibaba was accused of engaging in monopolistic practices. As a result, the company faced significant scrutiny and was eventually subjected to a record-breaking fine for the alleged violations.

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About the Alibaba

Alibaba is a prominent Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, technology, and various other sectors. Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and a group of entrepreneurs, Alibaba has grown into one of the world’s largest and most influential companies.

The company operates a range of businesses, including online marketplaces, cloud computing services, digital payment platforms, logistics and supply chain management, entertainment, and media ventures. Its flagship platforms, such as Taobao, Tmall, and Alibaba.com, facilitate online retail transactions between businesses and consumers. These platforms have played a significant role in shaping China’s e-commerce landscape and have gained international recognition as well.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Alibaba Headquarters: Hangzhou, China;
  • Alibaba Founded: 4 April 1999.

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