Chinese e-commerce and technology giant Alibaba unveiled on Thursday a series of management changes across various business units, the first after founder Jack Ma’s formal departure from the company in September.

Why it matters: The current management reshuffle takes place amid rising competition from rivals and Pinduoduo in its core-commence business and Meituan in the local lifestyle sector.

  • Alibaba typically restructures once a year with the aim to promote new talent and focus management on opportunities. This year, intensifying competition and the Covid-19 outbreak has weighed on its online travel, entertainment, local lifestyle businesses.
  • Now that Ma has officially departed from the company’s management, Zhang is beginning to build his own executive team as the company works to gain traction in several sectors amid an economic downturn.

Details: The restructuring announced on Thursday involved various business units, including fintech affiliate Ant Financial, online travel platform Fliggy, as well as retail and entertainment businesses.

  • Ant Financial, which operates mobile payment platform Alipay, appointed Ni Xingjun, one of the company’s earliest IT architects, as its new chief technology officer, Reuters reported.
  • Lin Xiaohai, Alibaba vice president and general manager of B2B retail unit LST, is now the CEO of supermarket chain RT-Mart and reports directly to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.
  • Zhuang Zhuoran, CTO of Alibaba’s cultural and entertainment unit and COO of the video streaming platform Youku, was named the new president of Fliggy.
  • Fan Chi, vice president of Alibaba Group and Fliggy executive, will be joining Alibaba’s cultural and entertainment unit to oversee the newly created OTT (over-the top) streaming video and sports unit.
  • The company told TechNode the reshuffle is a “normal management adjustment” within the group.

Context: The company released internal restructuring plans on the same day (June 18) last year, the date of a major shopping promotional period for the country’s e-commerce platforms known as 618.

Read more: INSIGHTS | Founders behaving badly

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.