Return to Transcripts main page


World Headlines; Sexual Abuse Scandal; Jack Ma Is Stepping Down As Executive Chairman At Alibaba. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 10, 2018 - 08:00   ET



[08:00:00] KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to "News Stream."

A signal to the U.S., North Korea stages a big celebration, but tones down the usual show of force.

Election deadlock, the far right party in Sweden makes significant gains amid growing immigration fears.

And a pioneer is stepping down, Alibaba founder Jack Ma announces a new era in his company's leadership.

OK, so North Korea is sending a message to the world. It's new focus, its economy and diplomacy. It celebrated its national day over the weekend in

typical grand fashion, 100,000 performers, mass games, marching soldiers and military tanks. But what stood out this time was actually the absence

of something.

No mention of a nuclear arsenal. No ballistic missiles on display. And U.S. President Donald Trump praised leader Kim Jong-un on twitter saying this,

quote, "We will both prove everyone wrong. There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other."

Now, Will Ripley is on his 19th trip to North Korea and he witnessed the celebrations firsthand. He joins us now live from Pyongyang. And Will, you

saw that big military parade at the weekend and it was missing one big thing, ICBMs. How should we interpret that?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a dramatic change, Kristie, from what I witnessed in Kim Il Sung Square just last year when we saw those

large Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles rolling through. It was an ominous warning to the United States from the North Koreans that they could

strike the U.S. mainland at any time.

Of course, President Trump was responding on twitter back then with threats towards North Korea and its leader, at one point saying that he would

unleash fire and fury on this country, if necessary. So, when you think about where we were then to where we are now, a parade that was upbeat and

positive in many ways with a dramatically toned down military presence, it is truly extraordinary.


RIPLEY (voice-over): The stands of Pyongyang's May Day stadium transformed, tens of thousands of North Koreans like human pixel flipping

colorful cards revealing the new agenda of their supreme leader Kim Jong- un. This super sized socialist propaganda blitz does more than dazzle, it reveals t new message North Korea wants to send to the world.

The last time they did this five years ago the focus was nuclear power. Now, it's economic power and diplomacy with a history making nod to South

Korean President Moon Jae-in due to visit Pyongyang for a summit with Kim Jong-un next week.

(on-camera): They call these the mass games. This is actually my first time seeing it in person and I've never seen anything like it. It's mind

blowing. Sort of like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. They even have huge torch, but it's all about North Korean history and their economy.

They say around 100,000 people are participating, mostly students.

(voice-over): Earlier Sunday, a military parade through Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, it featured thousands of goose-stepping soldiers, but unlike

past parades when the nuclear program was featured prominently, this time they didn't have a single Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on display.

Just because North Korea is not parading nuclear weapons doesn't mean it's getting rid of them. Denuclearization talks with the U.S. have hit an

impasse. The main sticking point, North Korea wants a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, a war featured prominently in this parade

celebrating North Korea's 70th founding anniversary.

(on-camera): Do you think that North Korea should give up nuclear weapons?

JU SONG JIN, HEATING TECHNICIAN (through translator): Never. Ever. We built this powerful nation on the basis of our military strength. If we

give up our nuclear weapons we can't guarantee the existence of this nation.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Pyongyang's display of military hardware comes just days after Kim reportedly sent a letter to Trump.

Have your feelings about America and President Trump changed at all?

SIN GWANG HUI, JOURNALIST (through translator): We don't worry much about President Trump or U.S. policy. We care about the policies of Marshall Kim

Jong-un who is working to improve our economy.

(voice-over): It shows that whether the focus is on the nuclear program or on the economy there is still one thing that matters the most to the people

in this country and that is showing their admiration for their leader, Kim Jong-un. This may be the new image of North Korea, but here some things

never change.


[08:04:55] (on-camera): Kristie, it's hard to imagine any other country in the world where one minute their entire focus is around the nuclear

program, but when their leader decides to change course dramatically, as North Korea has done, everybody falls in line, everyone is on board. That's

what we are seeing and hearing on the ground here in Pyongyang.

LU STOUT: Yes, North Korea is certainly dialing down the nuclear provocation and President Trump responded by saying thank you to Kim Jong-

un. You know, saying that there is nothing like good dialogue between two people who like each other. Will, for a while, for a few months now, you've

been reporting on the impasse in talks between U.S. and North Korea. Do you think we have a bit of a break through now?

RIPLEY: Well, it's a breakthrough in the sense that Kim Jong-un by simply by not parading his missiles, granted he hasn't given up the missiles, he

still has them, he hasn't disclosed to the United States how many missiles and nuclear warheads there are, but the simple act of not putting them out

there and not conducting any tests now since late last year seems to be enough to keep the diplomatic process moving forward, which is what

Pyongyang wants.

At the same time he also scored a diplomatic win by engaging with his ally and patron China. He hosted that special envoy of Chinese President Xi

Jinping. They raised arms together and then China put out a statement saying that they highly value what North Korea is doing in terms of


So, with a military parade, which had the potential to be really provocative, he managed to get things back on track with the United States

and at the same time improve his ties with China which are already the best that they have been during his nearly seven years in power.

LU STOUT: Well, fascinating, both Washington, D.C. and Pyongyang striking a more upbeat note here. Will Ripley reporting live from Pyongyang. Will,

thank you so much. Take care.

Now, in Sweden, centrist political group, they have failed to earn a majority in the general election but the far right Sweden Democrats, this

is a party with roots in the neo-Nazi movement, they have achieved their best ever results finishing third. With almost all the votes counted, the

main center right and center left blocks are separated by less than one percentage point.

The country's central left prime minister has called for cooperation across the political divide amid fears that the opposition center right might do a

deal with the far right Sweden Democrats. Now, our senior international correspondent Atika Shubert joins me live from Stockholm.

Atika, the far right Sweden Democrats, this is a party that was founded by white supremacists. How did they manage to gain so much momentum in this

race? I'll try one more time. Hi, Atika, can you hear me? It's Kristie in Hong Kong. OK, unfortunately it looks like we have com set up with Atika

just yet. We're going to fix that for you, but do keep it here for that live update from Atika Shubert in Stockholm.

Now, let's go to Russia next where anger over proposed government pension overhaul is boiling over. Now, a (inaudible) group says that police

arrested more than 1,000 people across the country on Sunday, hundreds of them in the city of St. Petersburg.

Now, reforms aimed to raise the retirement age for men from 60 to 65 and for women from 55 to 60. You're watching "News Stream." We have a lot more

on the program still to come.

It was a history making day in the world of women's tennis, but controversy threatens to overshadow it all.

Plus, the White House is still reeling from that anonymous op-ed that described the administration in chaos. The extreme measures that U.S. Vice

President Pence is willing to take to prove it wasn't him. All that and more coming up next right here on "News Stream."


LU STOUT: All right. Coming to you live from Hong Kong. Welcome back. This is "News Stream." And let's take you back to Sweden now and an election

that appears headed for a deadlock. Our senior international correspondent Atika Shubert joins us now live from Stockholm. And Atika, we are connected

this time around. Thank you for standing by for us.

We were talking earlier about the far right Sweden Democrats, a party founded by white supremacists. They came in third in this election. What's

behind their rise in popularity there?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They did come in third, but it's important to know that they were also third in the last

election. I mean, this is a party that's been growing since 2010 when they were able to breakthrough into parliament. So, they were actually projected

to come in much higher and it does seem like voters came out motivated to vote against them, which is why they actually got less than was originally


Having said that, they were still able to gain nearly five percentage points. So, they were the biggest gain in the election, but what's

important to note here is that no other party wants to work with them because of their very polarizing politics.

The fact that they have this no more immigrants platform and they campaigned really speaking to people's fears of fears of violent crime,

fears that more refugees and more immigrants would be too much of a burden on Sweden's very generous welfare system.

So that may be how they were able to appeal to as much as 18 percent of the vote, but keep in mind that 80 percent of the rest of Sweden's voters

really voted against them.

LU STOUT: Got it. So, you know, this far right group has been out there for a while. They said that they were going to win, what, 20 percent of the

votes. They did not reach that goal, but they did perform slightly well. You know, it makes them a factor in this race.

So what does this election result there in Sweden say not just about politics there in that country but about Europe and it's overall shift to

the right because it wasn't long ago when you on this program were talking about the rise of the far right party in Austria and another one in


SHUBERT: Absolutely. We've seen the same story repeated in other countries. I think what this shows is that Sweden, just like many of these

other western European countries, needs to have a pretty candid discussion about the issue of immigration but specifically integration. How to get

those communities that come here from abroad more integrated into Swedish society.

And that's really been a discussion about jobs, how to get people into the jobs market, how to get them -- the education that they need, you know, so

all of that kind of discussion is now taking place. What the Sweden Democrats have offered is a much more, I would say, black and white

solution, which is simply no more immigrants.

Other parties however are sayin1g, listen, maybe what we need to do is invest more into those migrant communities that are finding themselves in

these sort of segregated neighborhoods in urban areas, these so-called no- go zones. Those are the areas where you see the crime rates rising, the welfare system not working as it should be. And so this is where the

discussion is going now.

LU STOUT: Got it. Anti-immigrant sentiment has been sweeping Europe, even Sweden, that is where Atika Shubert is reporting live for us from

Stockholm. Atika, thank you very much indeed.

Now, let's take it back to Russia where anger over proposed government pension overhaul is boiling over. Now for the latest on that, Matthew

Chance joins me live from Moscow. And Matthew, scores of people turned out to protest, both young and old and the quick -- the police, they quickly

responded. Tell us what happened.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, across the country there were thousands of people, in fact, that turned out in various

towns and cities across Russia protesting against this issue of the retirement age, which is planning to be put back -- the government is

planning to put it back by five years for both men and women.

It's a problem for many women who wanted to retire early to perhaps look after their grandchildren or something like that. But it's a particular

problem for men because the average life expectancy in this country is just 66 and some change years, and they want to put the pension age back to 65.

[08:15:10] And so it's been very alarming for people across the country. It's led to mass protests around the country not just from the people who

usually oppose the Kremlin. In fact, these rallies over the past 24 hours were organized by Alexei Navalny who has emerged as a major opposition

figure in this country, succeeding in rallying people particularly on the issue of official corruption.

But, in fact, this issue of the retirement age cuts across the political spectrum. So we're seeing people aren't just Kremlin opponents, but also

people who are sort of traditional core supporters of Vladimir Putin being extremely angry about this and to make their displeasure known on the

streets. And that's really what's most worrying about it for the Kremlin.

If these protests start to spread and gather momentum and at the moment there's no sign that they are, but if they do, it could pose a major

problem for the Kremlin and of course a major challenge to the rule of Vladimir Putin himself. And so that's why the authorities are watching how

this develops very closely indeed, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Absolutely something to look out for. These pension protests could dent Putin's popularity. Matthew Chance, reporting live for us in

Moscow. Matthew, thank you.

Serena Williams, she has been fined $17,000 following a U.S. Open women's final that was filled with controversy. The 23-time grand slam champion was

issued three code violations during the match, one for illegal coaching, the second for smashing her racket and the third for verbal abuse after she

called the umpire a thief.

She was docked a point and then a game. The 23-time, again, grand slam champ, she says that sexism played a role here in the umpire's response,

noting that male players have done worse and faced fewer penalties. Williams lost in straight sets to 20-year-old Naomi Osaka who made history

as the first Japanese player to win a grand slam. CNN Coy Wire has more on the excitement sparked by her big win.

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Kristie. A lot of the world is focused on the controversy surrounding Serena Williams' loss at the Open, but here in

Japan there is a lot of focus on the positive, the historic victory of Naomi Osaka, just 20 years old, she grew up in the U.S., but was born in

here in Japan. She has dual citizenship. She is now the first Japanese player ever, man or woman, to win a grand slam.

That was big news here across the country. Listen to this, the match was on so early here that most of the newspapers had already gone to print, but

one of the major newspapers printed an extra edition so they could share the news with people in the streets. There is a lot of excitement among the

people here in Japan. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): It is cool that a Japanese player has done this. Her shot is so strong. I play tennis and think she is

an awesome player.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): It was a remarkable feat that she could defeat Serena like that. I think she makes Japan and Hokkaido proud.

She is the best.


WIRE: Some on twitter calling the young Japanese tennis player Japan's new tennis hero. Even the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe weighed in tweeting,

"Congratulations to Naomi Osaka for your victory in the U.S. Open, the first ever Japanese winner of a grand slam. Thank you for your energy and

excitement during this difficult time for Japan."

Now, this was some much needed uplifting news for a nation that's been reeling the past week or so of violent Typhoon Jebi causing destruction and

then a devastating earthquake in Hokkaido where people are still missing, dozens of deaths. That northern island is where Naomi Osaka's mother was

born, her grandparents still live there and her grandfather actually said that he hopes her victory will be encouragement for those whose lives were


Now, Osaka's success is earning her popularity and respect here in Japan, but so is her demeanor, respectful, kind, bubbly, humble. She loves

Japanese mangga and movies. She continues to study the language. She embraces her Japanese heritage, the culture, the people, and they are

embracing her back.

It was powerful moment, Kristie, on the awards ceremony stage when Naomi said that it was always her dream to play Serena Williams in the U.S. Open

finals. She turned to her with tears in her eyes, bowed and said thank you. That was Japan. That was that honor and dignity Japanese people are full of

and it was on full display on a world stage, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Osaka's a breakthrough and a player to watch. Coy, thank you. We're going to have a lot more ahead on "World Sport" including that big

win in the men's final by Novak Djokovic.

And turning now to a growing weather threat for the U.S. east coast, and her name is Florence. Now, the hurricane currently turning southeast of

Bermuda in the Atlantic, is set to make landfall in the U.S. on Thursday as a Category 3 strong or even higher.

[08:20:03] States of emergency have already been declared in three states as nervous residents clean out store shelves there. Our meteorologist Chad

Myers joins me now. He is in the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta. And Chad, you of course are tracking Florence closely. How is the storm already

affecting Bermuda and the area there?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I just looked at an earth cam from Bermuda and it looks like it is. It's just absolutely paradise, the palm fronds are

barely moving, the waves aren't there yet, but this is what the sailors that ran into such problems in the 1700s also saw. They went out and

looked, hey, the sea is calm, let's go take our gold across the ocean, and then they ran into a buzz saw like this.

This is Florence, 165 kilometers per hour, 205 per gusts. It is forecast to be very close to what we would consider a super typhoon at 240 kilometers

per hour here in the Atlantic Ocean, making and taking aim somewhere in the Carolinas. North Carolina, South Carolina, possibly turning to the right up

a little bit farther to the north, that's always a possibility. Right now that's just not the forecast.

The models are taking it directly in with a storm surge somewhere between 8 and 10 meters above sea level. That's water coming over to those barrier

islands into those homes most of them are built on stilts, but maybe some of those stilts aren't as high as that.

Here comes the rainfall as well, a half a meter of rain when the storm finally stops somewhere over Western Virginia and that half a meter is in

an area that is very topographic and so we are going to see a lot of river flooding there from all of this.

The sun is finally up in the Atlantic Ocean and these are some amazing pictures right here. Not only one, Florence, but there are two others,

Isaac and Helene out there. But take a look as we zoom into the new visible satellite because the sun is just coming up on it. You can't see it at

night because it's visible and there's nothing visible in the dark.

So this is what the storm looks like right now. Yes, I know, we're going 165 kilometers per hour, but this storm is getting bigger and getting

bigger very, very rapidly. We will keep watching it. It's going to be a big one.

LU STOUT: Absolutely. Yes, especially as it approaches the U.S. east coast, it can get Cat 3 or even higher. Chad Myers, watching it all for us.

Thank you so much, Chad. We will talk again soon.

Now to Washington where the fallout over last week's anonymous "New York Times" op-ed is still consuming the White House. The vehement denials, they

have become so extreme that the U.S. vice resident has even pledged to take a lie detector test just to prove it wasn't him. Abby Phillip has more.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (via translation): The White House making an aggressive push to discredit the unnamed senior official

that wrote that scathing "New York Times" op-ed last week, claiming to be part of an internal resistance inside the Trump administration.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: If this person really thinks that he or she is being patriotic and not pathetic, which is the way I view

it, then they should come forward. I think the motivation was to send discord and create chaos.

PHILLIP: The Vice President Mike Pence insisting he is 100 percent confident that no one in his office is the author.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: Should all top officials take a lie detector test, and would you agree to take one?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would agree to take it in a heartbeat and would submit to any review of the administration.

MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS HOST: One of the claims made in the op-ed is that there had been discussion of invoking the 25th amendment to even

remove the president from office. Have you ever been part of a conversation about that?

PENCE: No, never, and why would we be?


PHILLIP: More than two dozen senior officials have also denied writing the op-ed and a source tells CNN that White House aides have narrowed down the

search to a few suspects. Despite being urged to move on, the source says President Trump is still obsessing over finding the identity of the writer,

after calling on the attorney general to take action.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe

it's national security.


Reporter: But neither Mr. Trump nor the White House have identified a crime that has been committed.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you think the person broke the law?

CONWAY: I don't know. I have no idea.

TAPPER: Do you think that because he or she wrote the op-ed he or she might have also broken the law?

CONWAY: I have no idea. I have really no idea nor do you what else this person has divulged.


PHILLIP: The White House on the defensive amid on going criticism.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: This is a matter of great seriousness and gravity. We should not be dismissing it. It isn't like his blizzard of it

bizarre tweets. We are talking about consistent reporting over and over again about unpredictable, unprepared, unstable behavioral by this



PHILLIP: The administration also bracing itself for tomorrow's official release of Bob Woodward's book, "Fear."


BOB WOODWARD, JOURRNALIST: You look at the operation of this White House and you have to say let's hope to god we don't have a crisis. This one was

in the belly of the beast.

[08:25:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did you conclude about the beast?

WOODARD: That people better wake up to what's going on.



PHILLIP: And President Trump today has no public events on his schedule, but we are bracing ourselves for one possible development this week. Axios

is reporting that the president might declassify some documents that some conservatives have been asking him to declassify pertaining to the Mueller


These documents would involve his former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and a Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr. The point here would be to

try to undermine the Mueller probe and perhaps distract from this ongoing controversy over the op-ed, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Abby Phillip there, thank you.

Now, President Trump also still pretty focused on Bob Woodward's book. He tweeted this just a short time ago, quote, "The Woodward book is a joke.

Just another assault against me and a barrage of assaults using now disproven, unnamed and anonymous sources. Many have already come forward to

say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction. Dems can't stand losing. I'll write the real book!"

Meanwhile, another Trump critic, the U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says that she is not going anywhere. She tells our Christiane

Amanpour that as long as President Trump is in the White House she will stay right where she is.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: I do agree that it's time for new blood and we should move on and if Hillary Clinton had won and the Affordable

Care Act was protected, I feel very proprietary about that, I was happy to go my way. We didn't know who would come forward, but that's up to the


They give me the honor of serving and it's up to them to choose who comes next. But to have no woman at the table and to have the Affordable Care Act

at risk, I said, as long as he's here, I'm here. So 45, not to be disrespectful, but --


PELOSI: Yes. And so, but I've always been -- I think there was one election for leadership that I was not opposed in. So, people like to get started on

what they think comes next and that's up to the caucus to decide, but I feel very comfortable about the support that I have in the caucus and that

I will be the Speaker of the House.


LU STOUT: You do not want to miss this interview. Be sure to check out Christiane Amanpour's new hour-long program at a new time, happening 6:00

p.m. at London and 1:00 a.m. in the morning in Hongkong, only on CNN.

You're watching "News Stream." And still ahead right here, another U.S. media titan steps down amid allegations of sexual misconduct. We got more

on this scandal surrounding ousted CBS exec Les Moonves after the break.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN NEWS STREAM SHOW HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching "News Stream" and these are your world headlines.

Sweden's centrist coalitions have failed to win majority in the general election. With almost all the votes counted, the ruling center left social

Democrats and their coalition are leading the center right block by less than one percentage point. The Sweden Democrats, a far right party with

roots in the Neo-Nazi movement, made big gains coming in third.

In Syria, the White Helmets say that program enforcers (ph) stepped up airstrikes on Idlib Province on Sunday. They say 27 people including a

toddler have been killed in the past several days. Regime officials say a ground offensive has not started yet, but Russian and Syrian planes have

been targeting a group affiliated with Al Qaeda.

And the U.S. is bracing for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall as a major storm on the east coast later this week. Officials have

declared states of emergency in Virginia, South and North Carolina as nervous residents clear out store shelves ahead of the storm.

Another U.S. media titan is out amid allegations of sexual misconduct. CBS chief executive Les Moonves stepped down on Sunday, the same day The New

Yorker published six new accusations of harassment and assault against him. Moonves denies the accusations.

CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joins me live from New York with more. Brian, thank you for joining us. Les Moonves, he is out of CBS.

This follows some serious new allegations against him published in a new piece by Ronan Farrow. What can you tell us about the new allegations and

also how Les Moonves is responding?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This might be the biggest "Me Too" earthquake of them all, Kristie, because we are talking about an

incredible financial situation, a Fortune 500 company, a veteran broadcasting executive, who until a few weeks ago had a pretty stellar


And now to see him stepping down amid these "Me Too" allegations, it is a stunning downfall for Les Moonves. Go back six weeks, that's when Ronan

Farrow published his first story with the first accusation against Moonves.

Six women, some of them named, saying that Moonves had harassed them and tried to grope them. Most of these accusations were decades ago. Moonves

admitted to some mistakes, but said he never abused his power.

And then the lawyers got involved, an army of lawyers got involved. But Moonves stayed on the job, and that's what ticked off some other women who

then decided to speak out as well. Six more women speaking to Ronan Farrow for his follow-up story that came out this time yesterday.

So just 24 hours ago, the second round of allegations even more disturbing than the first. That was the final nail in this corporate coffin. That's

what led CBS to announce that he was stepping down.

LU STOUT: And, Brian, we've got to talk about the severance package because the topic was already been generating a lot of controversy.

STELTER: Oh, yes.

LU STOUT: What kind of exit package could Les Moonves get on his way out?

STELTER: That's another reason why this is a different kind of "Me Too" case from all the others we have talked about for the past year. This is a

case where there's more than $100 million at stake.

Moonves, according to a source familiar with the negotiations, stands to make at least $100 million depending on what the lawyers find out. The

lawyers are still investigating all of these claims against Moonves. They are still looking into it.

So, essentially, CBS is kicking this can way down the road. They don't want to talk about money today. They want to try to do this quietly a few months

from now.

So my prediction, Kristie, is that Moonves is going to get tens of millions of dollars as a golden parachute on the way out the door, but it's not

going to be as much as he would have made were it not for these pretty disturbing harassment allegations.

And by the way, what is CBS trying to do to save to save face is donating $20 million of whatever Moonves was going to make, donating that to women's

rights groups. In the meantime, Moonves says he's deeply disappointed to be leaving the company. He is saying that these claims against him are untrue

and that people are out to destroy his reputation and his character.

LU STOUT: Stunning downfall in the media world, a major milestone in the "Me Too" movement.


LU STOUT: Brian Stelter cross it (ph) all for us. Brian, thank you.

STELTER: Thanks.

LU STOUT: You're watching "News Stream." Still to come because updates in the program, one of China's richest and most successful business leaders

calls it a day. We will talk a look at what Jack Ma might do next.


LU STOUT: All right. Welcome back. This is "News Stream."

Alibaba is about to get a new boss. Jack Ma, one of the Chinese tech giant founders and one of the world's richest men, he is stepping down as

executive chairman of Alibaba. He says that he's making way for the company's next generation of leaders, writing in a letter this, "No company

can rely solely on its founders."

In September of 2019, Ma will hand the reins over to Daniel Zhang, the current CEO. Matt Rivers filed this report for us earlier.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jack Ma, one of China's richest men, a giant in tech, a man who has stood side by side with

presidents, loves Kung Fu novels, always has (INAUDIBLE). He says they teach valuable lessons.

JACK MA, CHINESE BUSINESS MAGNATE: Whatever you want to be, a great people, a great company, you have to work very hard. You have to suffer a

lot of, you know, terrible things, wrongs and terrible things, before you can be a hero. It is spiritual. And think out of the box. You have to think

out of the box to win.

RIVERS: And win he has. It's been 19 years since he co-founded Alibaba. And the company that began in a Hangzhou, China apartment has grown into

one of the largest internet companies in the world.

In 2014, Alibaba's $25 billion IPO was then the largest in U.S. history. Ant Financial, the company's finance subsidiary has invested billions of

dollars in companies around the globe. Alibaba's e-commerce sites have fundamentally changed the way hundreds of millions of people shop in China

and its mobile payment platform revolutionized how people pay for what they buy.

All the while, Ma has arguably become the most public face of China's tech boom, a charismatic often inspiring figure for ordinary people, nicknamed

"Papa Ma" on Chinese internet. Ma has faced his share of criticism, of course. Critics say his company nearly copied e-Bay and thrived only

because the Communist Party wanted it to.

China's protectionist policy, so the argument goes, ensured that Alibaba had no real competition, making its rise not only easier but in some ways

inevitable. There is some truth there, but no matter your view, the facts remain.

Alibaba is a juggernaut of a company and its leader is routinely mentioned in the same sentence as other deities of tech, think Jobs or Musk or Gates.

And like Gates, Ma says life is about more than a job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you imagine yourself sitting back, relaxing?

MA: No. I have so much education, environment, and going around and meeting the entrepreneurs. There are a lot of things. Life is so fun and

never ever focus on one thing. We come to this world not to work. We come to this world to enjoy life. This is what I believe.

RIVERS: Ma has said he wants to focus more on philanthropy (ph). The former English teacher has always focused on improving education in China.

As for his company widely considered to have a deep management tool (ph), he told CNN in 2016 that whenever he does step down, it will be in good


MA: Tomorrow is more difficult. The day after tomorrow is beautiful. But most people die tomorrow evening. So we have to realize that good things

can never be achieved easily. Life is not only about Alibaba. I have run my first 100 meters. I should be giving this to the next generation.


[08:40:00] RIVERS: Kristie, you know, Jack Ma is not very old. Today is his 54th birthday. He clearly has a lot of things left that he would like

to do with his life. But it's worth noting that he's not going to be completely absent from Alibaba.

It's not going to be for another year that he steps down officially, and he will have a continued role with the company. We should know that he is part

of the group of people, the Alibaba Partnership, that can establish a majority vote in terms of picking the board of directors for Alibaba.

So, he is going to retain that kind of co-founder credibility, and he is going to have a role in this company moving forward, albeit a more limited

one, you know, as he steps away.

LU STOUT: Yeah, very important to point that out. Jack Ma is not going to be out of the picture at Alibaba. He's still going to have some sort of a

role there going on. As he transitions out of his role from -- this does come during the Trump presidency, right?

This is a politically-heated time. Even though Jack Ma was one of the first international business leaders to meet Trump after he was elected

president, this is a time when U.S. and China are locked in this trade war. What kind of -- are the challenges for Alibaba during this time?

RIVERS: I mean, there is a lot of headwinds facing companies like Alibaba. You know, Jack Ma perhaps won't be around long enough to have to be the one

directly responsible for it. You have to figure in a year's time there still is going to be some tension between the United States and China.

But, you know, when we talk about the trade war, Kristie, we often talk about companies that are already trading back and forth that already have

these established relationships between the United States and China, things like soybeans.

But what about companies like Alibaba who are seeking to increase their foothold in the United States, get more market share in the United States?

That's what Alibaba is trying to do, lots of other Chinese tech companies are trying to do.

And so while the trade war is affecting companies already established on both sides, it is also going to to hurt those companies that are trying to

increase their position in the United States.

LU STOUT: All right. Matt Rivers reporting live for us in Beijing, thank you so much. Take care.

And that is it for "News Stream." I'm Kristie Lu Stout. Don't go anywhere. "World Sport" with Amanda Davies is indeed next.


[08:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)