Jack Ma, co-founder of the famous e-commerce site Alibaba, has accepted a teaching position in Japan following his disappearance in 2020. In this new role, Ma will conduct research on sustainable agriculture and food production, Tokyo College announced on Monday.
The tech tycoon, who was once China’s richest person, will share his “rich and pioneering experience in entrepreneurship, company management and innovation” in seminars at the college, which is run by the University of Tokyo.
No stranger to teaching
Ma’s tenure as a visiting professor began on May 1. The 58-year-old, who resigned from Alibaba in September 2019, had been an English teacher for many years before co-founding Alibaba.
Ma said in May 2019 that after leaving Alibaba, he would return to his roots because of his love for teaching.
In October 2020, Ma angered the Chinese authorities with his statements, criticizing China’s financial regulatory system and stating that Chinese banks operate in the logic of “usury”. Just days after these words, the $ 37 billion IPO of the fintech company Ant Group was canceled.
His fortune melted with his statements!
The cancellation of Ant’s IPO triggered a wide pressure on technology companies in the country. This pressure also lowered Alibaba’s shares and fell more than 70 percent after its peak in 2020. Ma’s fortune fell from $61 billion to $33 billion.
Since then, the once publicly recognized jet-setting figure has been absent, leading to intense speculation about his whereabouts.
He has been back on the scene since November
According to the Financial Times, in November 2022, Ma was spotted in Japan and spent time in some private members’ clubs. In January, Ma was seen in Bangkok, Thailand, where he visited a Michelin-starred street food restaurant and watched a Muay Thai fight, before being spotted in Hong Kong.
In March, Ma returned to the school he founded in his hometown of Hangzou in eastern China and returned to the limelight. In April, he received an honorary professorship from the University of Hong Kong.