Alibaba founder Jack Ma has taken up a university teaching position, in a shift away from his sprawling tech businesses and one of the first public roles he has assumed after almost three years of keeping a low profile.
The university said Ma — a former English teacher — would specialise in conducting research on sustainable agriculture and food production.
Alibaba to the class room
Ma has maintained a low profile since he criticised Chinese regulators in a speech in October 2021 and Beijing tightened regulation of tech.
A $37bn IPO of Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, was cancelled at the last minute in November 2020. Ma ceded control of Ant Group earlier this year in a move which pushed the tycoon further out of touch with his businesses.
Some analysts said the move could pave he way for the company to revive its IPO, but the changes are likely to result in a further delay due to listing regulations in China.