Vanished Billionaire Jack Ma Retreats From Business World

( – The University of Tokyo announced last Friday that Jack Ma, the elusive billionaire founder of Alibaba, gave his first 2-hour seminar last Monday as a visiting professor, discussing management philosophy and how to achieve in business, CNN reported.

According to the University, Ma’s seminar featured students from Japan, India, Malaysia, and China and was drawn from his “rich experience and pioneering knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Ma effectively disappeared in late 2020 after he criticized China’s regulators during a speech in Shanghai.

Just days after the speech, Beijing canceled the IPO of Ma’s Ant Group, which was anticipated to be the biggest stock offering in history. China then launched a regulatory crackdown on the private sector and internet industry, including fining Alibaba Group $2.8 billion for violating China’s antitrust rules. Afterward, Ma kept a low profile, reportedly remaining overseas in Hong Kong and Spain. He also stayed at the home of his friend SoftBank CEO Masa Son in Japan.

But this year, Ma began appearing in public more frequently, focusing on research and teaching. In what some analysts believe was a media event planned by Beijing to calm the fears of China’s private sector, in March, Ma returned to China to support Alibaba’s restructuring plan to split the company into six separate entities.

The University of Hong Kong announced in April that Ma would be joining its business school. Then in May, the University of Tokyo announced that Ma would be giving lectures as a visiting professor through October 31.

After his seminar at the University of Toyko, Ma traveled to the Damo Academy in Hangzhou, China to attend a math competition sponsored by the research team at Alibaba. There, he spoke with the global math competition finalists and discussed the ways the competition can “innovate and bring new fun” to those who love math. Before becoming one of China’s biggest entrepreneurs, Jack Ma was an English teacher.

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