Alibaba founder floats startup, forays into farming, fishery
University of Tokyo hires Jack Ma as visiting professor
Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma has invested in a fishery and agriculture startup in China, the media has reported.
The startup, called “1.8 Meters Marine Technology (Zhejiang) Co” has been incorporated in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, with a registered capital of $15 million, reports South China Morning Post, citing corporate registry data provider Tianyancha.
The startup caters to processing, wholesale and retail sales of agriculture products as well as development of offshore wind power systems.
Simon Hu, former chief executive of Ant Group, also owns a 5.5 per cent stake in the startup. The startup’s controlling shareholder is Hong Kong-based 1.8 Meters Technology Holding Ltd, which holds 80 per cent stake.
The new venture, which also covers processing, wholesale and retail sales of agriculture products as well as development of offshore wind power systems, fits Ma’s keen interest in the agriculture and food sector following his retirement from Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post. Ma recently made several international trips to learn about sustainable food production. In Japan, he spent time studying fisheries and tuna farming and in Thailand, the billionaire visited a sea shrimp farming factory.
Alibaba has also invested in agriculture-related technology. In May, the University of Tokyo announced that Ma will teach as a visiting professor, delivering lectures on management and sustainable agriculture. Ma accepted an invitation from Tokyo College, a new institution run by the university.