Alibaba’s Ma steps down as industry faces uncertainty

Jack Ma will stay on as a member of the Alibaba Partnership, a group of 36 people with the right to nominate a majority of the company’s board of directors. (AFP)
Updated 10 September 2019

Alibaba’s Ma steps down as industry faces uncertainty

  • Jack Ma stepped down Tuesday as part of a succession announced a year earlier
  • But he will stay on as a member of the Alibaba Partnership

BEIJING: Jack Ma, who founded Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, is stepping down as chairman at a time when the rapidly changing industry faces uncertainty amid a US-Chinese trade war.
Ma stepped down Tuesday as part of a succession announced a year earlier. He will stay on as a member of the Alibaba Partnership, a group of 36 people with the right to nominate a majority of the company’s board of directors.
Ma, 55, founded Alibaba in 1999 to connect Chinese exporters to American retailers.
The company has shifted its focus to serving China’s growing consumer market. Domestic businesses accounted for 66 percent of its $16.7 billion in revenue in the quarter ending in June.


New Delhi to sell full stake in debt-ridden Air India

Updated 27 January 2020

New Delhi to sell full stake in debt-ridden Air India

  • The airline, which owes more than $8 billion, has been struggling to pay salaries and buy fuel
  • Formerly India’s monopoly airline, carrier was once known affectionately as the ‘Maharaja of the skies’

MUMBAI: New Delhi intends to sell its entire stake in the debt-crippled national carrier Air India, the government announced Monday, after failing previously to secure any bids for a majority share.
The airline, which owes more than $8 billion, has been struggling to pay salaries and buy fuel, with officials recently warning that it would have to shut down unless a buyer was found.
On Monday the civil aviation ministry released a document inviting bids for a 100 percent stake, setting March 17 as the deadline for initial submissions.
Potential buyers would have to assume around $3.26 billion in debt, the document said.
The government was forced in 2018 to shelve plans to sell a 76 percent stake in Air India after failing to attract any bidders.
India’s Tata Group, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and IndiGo were all linked to a takeover but subsequently ruled themselves out.
Founded in 1932 and formerly India’s monopoly airline, the company was once known affectionately as the “Maharaja of the skies.”
But it has been hemorrhaging money for more than a decade and has lost market share to low-cost rivals in one of the world’s fastest-growing but most competitive airline markets.
In November aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said the airline would “have to close down if it is not privatized.”
State-run oil companies halted fuel supplies to Air India in August after it fell behind on payments, though the firms agreed to lift the suspension a month later after talks brokered by the government.
The country’s aviation sector has been stuck in a slump since the collapse of Jet Airways last year.