BEIJING: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, founder of ecommerce giant Aibaba, is going to step down as president of the elite business school he founded after having been caught in a Beijing clampdown on tech titans, the Financial Times reported Monday.
Ma, formerly one of China’s most flambouyant entrepreneurs, has largely disappeared from public view since Alibaba’s fintech arm was investigated and fined by regulators for alleged monopolistic practices.
The Financial Times report cited sources saying that Hupan University — an elite academy for Chinese business executives established in Ma’s hometown of Hangzhou in 2015 — has changed its name and will restructure its curriculum.
Ma will not hold any high-level title at the restructured organisation, the report said, as Beijing seeks to limit his influence.
“Hupan is like an elite community, it’s one of (the authorities’) main targets,” one person who worked with Ma was quoted as saying by the FT.
Viral videos circulating on Chinese social media earlier this month showed construction workers using a blow torch to remove characters on a large “Hupan University” sign.