Jack Ma, the founder of tech giant Alibaba, disappeared in 2020 after his words angered the Chinese government. It turned out that the billionaire, whose whereabouts were discussed for many years, returned to his former profession. Here are the details about the new life of Ma, who was once the richest person in China…
It has been revealed that the missing billionaire Jack Ma teaches at a university in Japan’s capital. A statement from Tokyo College says that in his new position, Ma will conduct research into sustainable agriculture and food production.
Accordingly, Ma, once the richest person in China, will share “his rich experience and pioneering knowledge in entrepreneurship, corporate governance and innovation” in lectures at Tokyo University.
According to the educational institution’s statements, Ma’s visiting professor’s term starts on May 1, so today. This means that 58-year-old Ma returned to his old job after retiring from Alibaba in September 2019. The billionaire businessman taught English for several years before founding Alibaba.
Ma said in May 2019 that he would return to teaching after retiring from Alibaba in September of the same year.
On the other hand, Ma’s return to a public role comes more than two years after he angered Chinese officials during an October 2020 speech in which he criticized China’s financial regulatory system and claimed that Chinese banks operate with a “pawn shop” mentality . Days after his statements, the $37 billion IPO of Ma’s company Ant Group was canceled by the Chinese government.
The cancellation of Ant Group’s IPO put more pressure on technology companies in the country. This has depressed Alibaba’s stock price, which is down more than 70 percent from its 2020 peak. At the same time, Ma’s wealth fell from an October 2020 high of $61 billion to an estimated $33 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Since then, Ma had disappeared, sparking intense discussions about his whereabouts.
According to the Financial Times, Ma was spotted in Japan in November 2022, mostly socializing in a few private clubs. He visited a Michelin-starred street food restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, in January and watched a Muay Thai fight.
Ma, on the other hand, was appointed emeritus professor at the University of Hong Kong last month.