He told Bloomberg he is dedicating more time and money to building his philanthropic foundation for education. The Times story was taken out of context and factually wrong, the spokesman said.
Earlier Friday, Ma said he could "retire earlier" during a conversation with Bloomberg about Bill Gates' career.
Alibaba Group is a Chinese multinational holding conglomerate specialising in e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology.
Alibaba has one of the strongest management teams in corporate China and even if he steps down, Ma is likely still to have a role in setting top-level strategy, says Brock Silvers, MD of Kaiyuan Capital.
"I love education", the Chinese billionaire said, adding that he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education.
Since handing off his CEO title to Daniel Zhang, Ma has spent 40 per cent of the year travelling the globe to preach about the virtues of globalisation and inter-connectedness, the potential of technology to improve lives, and about philanthropy.
"I sat down with our senior executives 10 years ago, and asked what Alibaba would do without me", Ma said in an interview with the South China Morning Post, which Alibaba owns.
The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and has a market value of about $421 billion.
Ma started Alibaba in 1999 in his apartment in the Chinese city of Hangzhou and is now among the richest people in the world.
Ma also keeps a high worldwide profile, frequently inviting global leaders to the company's Hangzhou headquarters. On one hand, Chinese tech companies are facing increased scrutiny by the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, the tech firms are caught in an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.
"I don't think it means that much, frankly". Only 3 to 4 per cent usually make it to the fourth generation and beyond, UBS said.
FILE PHOTO: Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma gestures as he attends the 11th World Trade Organization's ministerial conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 11, 2017. This is not about retiring, stepping away, or backing off.