“Jack Ma to resign as president of Lakeside University” Financial Times: Chinese authorities limit his influence

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, will resign as president of Lakeside University, a move by authorities that continues to limit Ma’s influence in Chinese society, according to sources cited by the Financial Times on May 23.

Ma is said to have founded Lakeside University in 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, where Alibaba is headquartered, with the aim of training China’s highly refined economic talent. The school is also seen as one of the main signs of Ma’s commitment to developing education since he resigned as chairman of Alibaba’s board in 2019.

The Financial Times last month cited sources familiar with the matter as disclosing that Lakeside University had halted enrollment plans due to pressure from authorities amid anti-monopoly investigations into Ma’s Alibaba, Ant Financial Services and other companies. The source disclosed, “The Chinese government believes that Lakeside University has the potential to organize China’s top entrepreneurs to operate according to Jack Ma’s goals, not those set by the Communist Party. That’s not allowed.”

To date, Lakeside University has changed its name to Zhejiang Lakeside Entrepreneurship Research Center, and the university has yet to respond to media inquiries about Ma’s resignation.