Alibaba: What Analysts Think Of Jack Ma’s Successor, Daniel Zhang

Alibaba Founder Jack Ma
Founder and Chairman of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Jack Ma gives a speech at Paris' high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech, in Paris, France May 16, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

E-commerce industry experts have set their attention on Jack Ma's successor as chairman of Alibaba, Daniel Zhang. Analysts believe Zhang will face multiple challenges as he climbs from CEO to chairman now that Ma will not be constantly around to guide him.

According to Business Insider, some industry experts believe Zhang will have to overcome the struggles of weaving through a slowing online retail industry. Not to mention that ongoing China-U.S. trade war that could later affect Alibaba's revenue.

While Ma personally chose Zhang to follow in his footsteps and lead the company he founded 20 years ago, some analysts believe the successor has to overcome many hurdles, including innovation.

As then-chairman, Ma explored various possibilities for Alibaba when the e-commerce slowdown was first felt a couple of years back. Since then, the world's largest online retail company branched out to different units. Ma grew the company into a billion-dollar group of companies that continues to expand globally.

Alibaba is now doing business in the cloud and big data segments. The company also successfully acquired a navigation arm in 2014, as well as an online payment system that is among the top popular e-payment choices for people around the world.

Some people outside China are unaware that Alibaba also has an instant messenger app called Aliwangwang. In fact, this app is now the second-largest messaging portal that Chinese social media users utilize for communication.

The Chinese tech giant also has Ali Health, its information technology arm that focuses on healthcare. Formerly ChinaVision Media is also now largely owned by the company and the name has been changed to Alibaba Pictures.

Meanwhile, other analysts are confident that Ma stepped out of the only company that competed with Amazon with confidence. They believe the Alibaba co-founder left the e-commerce company in good hands.

On the other hand, competitors and transitions to the latest trends are the major concerns that industry experts have raised under Zhang's leadership. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Zhang has to prove that he can keep the competition away from rising star Pinduoduo.

Aside from Pinduoduo's threat, Zhang will have to pull the attention back to Alipay as Tencent's WeChat Pay continues to gain traction in the e-payment sector. Finally, the new chairman has to keep up what Ma started in the chip industry.

While Alibaba under Ma's leadership paved the way for helping China develop its own chip industry, industry experts argued that spearheading the movement for the country's chip sector will be hard for the new administration to follow through.

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