Just hours after a New York Times blockbuster story reported that Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma soon would be stepping down to focus on his philanthropy, both the company and the business titan refuted the news. As Fortune reports, Alibaba officials responded to the news in a South China Morning Post story under the headline “Jack Ma to unveil Alibaba’s succession plan, paving the way for younger talent to take over.”
While Chinese media is not known for the same degree of press freedoms and reliability as news outlets in the U.S., the Fortune reporters note that the SCMP is likely more knowledgeable about the inner workings of Alibaba since the online giant also owns the newspaper.
An Alibaba spokesperson told the SCMP that the Times story was “taken out of context” and “factually wrong.” Ma himself also put out a statement that said: “Anybody who knows me knows I embrace the future. This is not about retiring, stepping away, or backing off. This is a systematic plan.”
As of Sunday morning in the U.S., the Times had still yet to correct or clarify its original story.
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