Jack Ma Turns to Farming 3 Years After Beijing Crackdown on Tech Businesses

Jack Ma, the 58-year-old co-founder of Alibaba, has been anything but idle since retiring. He’s making waves in the world of education and agriculture, with investments in agrotech and teaching roles in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The South China Morning Post recently reported Ma’s investment in the farm-technology startup 1.8 Meters Marine Technology (Zhejiang) Co, based in Hangzhou, China. It’s a city that also hosts the headquarters of Alibaba, China’s equivalent to Amazon. Through one of his investment companies, Ma now has a 10% stake in the startup.

This move into agriculture technology isn’t too surprising given Ma’s recent activities. Since stepping away from the public eye almost three years ago, following a controversial speech in October 2020, Ma has been on a global exploration of agrotech. His criticism of China’s financial-regulatory system led to intense regulatory scrutiny and broad actions against tech firms in China, so it seems he’s shifted his focus to agriculture.

During his time away, Ma was spotted in countries like Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, and Thailand, diving into agriculture and technology, specifically focusing on environmental concerns. Reports say he’s been learning about sustainable farming practices and innovative agriculture technologies.

And he’s not keeping all this knowledge to himself. In May of this year, Tokyo College announced that Ma would be joining them to teach and conduct research on sustainable agriculture and food production. His passion for education also extends to his role on the board of the Jack Ma Foundation.

Ma’s departure from Alibaba in 2019 signaled the end of an era, but his new ventures indicate that he’s far from done with innovation and growth. Whether it’s in the classroom or on the farm, he continues to drive forward, redefining his role as a business leader and educator. It’s a story of reinvention that mirrors the dynamic, evolving world of technology and entrepreneurship. The foundation he sits on has not commented on his latest ventures, but the world is certainly watching to see where Jack Ma’s interests will take him next.

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