Alibaba’s Jack Ma moves into food business with 'Ma's Kitchen Food'
‘Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food’ has been set up in Alibaba’s home city amid a post-pandemic shift in eating habits, adding to Ma’s agriculture-focused endeavours. The billionaire plans to sell Alibaba shares to fund his new initiatives, but a plunge in stock price prompted Ma to hold off of the sale.
For years, Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma has been the poster boy for China's tech industry — but it looks like he's moving on to the food business. According to media reports, Jack Ma has launched a new company that offers pre-packaged meals.
With registered capital of 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million), it is wholly owned by Hangzhou Dajingtou No 22 Arts and Culture, another of the entrepreneur’s ventures set up in 2019 for investment deals in China, in which Ma has 99.9 per cent of stake.
Reports suggest that he may be utilising his post-retirement concentration on the agriculture industry to expand into new fields. For those who are unaware, on his 55th birthday in 2019, Jack Ma resigned from his position as chairman of Alibaba.
The scope of the company’s business extends to sales of pre-packaged food and the primary processing and retail of edible agricultural products, according to Ma’s Kitchen. The main business involves precooked meals, which have enjoyed growing demand in China due to the stay-at-home effect of the pandemic.
This move by Jack Ma, reportedly comes with the increasing demands of packaged food and lifestyle changes post-pandemic. Ma’s latest venture was interpreted by some to be a move into offering ready meals, an industry that has been booming in China as investors look to cash in on lifestyle changes during the pandemic.
As Alibaba contends with China's tightening regulatory controls, Ma had lived abroad until this spring. He reportedly has been seen in Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia.