Alibaba undergoes top management reshuffle amid China crackdown

Beijing: Chinese conglomerate Alibaba on Monday announced a major reshuffle at the top, as the country tightens its stand against domestic Big Tech companies over data and internet regulations.

Toby Xu, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, will succeed Maggie Wu as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective from April 1, 2022.

Wu will continue as a partner in the Alibaba Partnership and serve as an Executive Director on the Alibaba board, the company said in a statement.

“Going forward, Maggie will leverage her deep experience to support Alibaba in new ways. We will continue to benefit from her guidance and insights in her continued role as an Alibaba board director,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

Since joining Alibaba almost 15 years ago, Wu has helped lead three successful company public listings as CFO: on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, and Alibaba Group Holding on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, and on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019.

Xu joined Alibaba from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) three years ago and was appointed Deputy Group CFO in July 2019.

“The markets will always have ups and downs, but Alibaba has ambitious long-term goals. We are in a relay race and we must have new generations of talent to take the company forward,” said Wu.

Alibaba also unveiled major reorganisation plans to boost its strategy of domestic and international e-commerce, Zhang said in an internal letter.

The latest reshuffle came as China’s market regulator last month fined tech giants Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and e-commerce platform Inc and Suning for violating the country’s anti-monopoly rules in 34 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals which they failed to declare illegal implementation of operating concentration, marking the latest move in the nation’s fight against monopoly.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has fined a raft of companies, especially in the internet platform sector, since the start of this year over their monopolistic behaviours including making M&As without seeking regulatory approval in advance and letting merchant “choose one from two,” which needs to be rectified as the country ramps up anti-monopoly efforts to secure fair market competition, Global Times reported.