Long hailed as the face of China’s tech prowess, Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma is steering his focus towards the food industry. Reports indicate that Ma has recently established “Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food,” a company based in Hangzhou, the city synonymous with Alibaba and Ma’s hometown.
With a registered capital of $1.4 million, the venture is solely owned by Ma’s investment entity, Hangzhou Dajingtou, No 22 Arts and Culture. The inception of Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food signals Jack Ma’s strategic shift into the food business. The company, with a focus on pre-packaged food sales and the processing and retail of agricultural products, is Ma’s latest endeavor in response to the changing landscape of his tech empire.
Following the Chinese government’s crackdown on his businesses in 2020 after Ma criticized China’s financial-regulatory system, the tech magnate experienced a significant transformation. Vanishing from public view for two years and facing substantial financial setbacks, Ma adopted a low profile, making infrequent public appearances.
Instead of his tech-centric pursuits, Ma redirected his attention to agriculture. His global travels in recent years have seen him exploring agrotech in various countries. Notable destinations include Spain, where he delved into agriculture and technology related to environmental issues in October 2021. Ma’s educational journey also took him to the Netherlands, Japan, and Thailand, deepening his interest in sustainable agriculture and food production.
In a surprising move, Ma took up a teaching position at Tokyo College in May, focusing on sustainable agriculture and food production research. His commitment to this new venture was further underscored by a meeting in Thailand with Supakit Chearavanont, chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, a major animal feed producer.
Having retired from Alibaba in 2019, Jack Ma’s recent foray into the food industry adds another dimension to his evolving post-tech career. Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food is a tangible manifestation of Ma’s commitment to agricultural exploration and sustainable food practices.
As Ma navigates this new terrain, his foundation, the Jack Ma Foundation, remains tight-lipped, offering no immediate comments on this latest development.