Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has recently joined a research institute of the University of Tokyo as a visiting professor. The announcement came after the entrepreneur had kept a low profile for a few years since criticizing Chinese financial authorities in October 2020, after which Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Group faced regulatory obstacles.
According to the university, Ma, whose contract as Tokyo College professor runs until the end of October, will conduct joint research and projects with University of Tokyo researchers, focusing on sustainable agriculture and food production. He is also expected to share his experience and knowledge on entrepreneurship, corporate management and innovation with students through seminars.
Ma, a former English teacher, founded the Alibaba Group in 1999, growing it into one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses. He served as its executive chairman until 2019. While largely disappearing from the public eye in recent years, he has been spotted in various countries, including Japan.
Tokyo College was founded in 2019. Its activities include research collaboration and knowledge sharing with researchers and intellectuals from inside and outside Japan.