Alibaba founder Jack Ma returns to mainland China to visit school in Hangzhou
published : 27 Mar 2023 at 16:31
writer: South China Morning Post
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group Holding, returned to mainland China recently after more than a year of overseas travel, and visited a school he founded in the city of Hangzhou, the hometown of Alibaba, according to sources familiar with his schedule.
On Monday, Ma met teachers and students at Yungu School, a private school covering kindergarten to high school, that was funded by Alibaba founders in 2017. The billionaire businessman discussed education issues and ChatGPT technology with the school.
Ma returned to China after a brief stop over in Hong Kong, where he met friends and also briefly visited Art Basel. Ma is known to be very passionate about painting and the arts.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
Ma, who retired as Alibaba's chairman on his 55th birthday in 2019, has been travelling to different countries to learn about agriculture technology. His itinerary is closely followed by China watchers.
Although Ma has faded from public view in recent years, his whereabouts are closely watched, especially after the companies he founded - including Alibaba and its fintech affiliate Ant Group - came under regulatory scrutiny amid Beijing's intensified crackdown on the tech sector.
After stepping down as Alibaba's executive chairman, Ma - a former English teacher - said he wanted to dedicate his post-retirement days to philanthropy, rural education and pursuing his interest in reviving China's rural sector.
In his rare appearances since then, Ma has been spotted in Europe, Japan and China, attending education and agricultural events. Earlier this year he was seen in Thailand as part of his study of farming and fishery, which followed a three-month stay in Japan where he looked into the operations and technology of fish farms.
During the Lunar New Year, Ma was in Hong Kong, where he was excited by what he saw as the city began to open up after nearly three years of Covid-19 travel restrictions, according to people close to him.
Jack Ma in Thailand earlier this year, where he was pictured visiting a local food stall. Photo: Facebook