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Billionaire Alibaba Co-Founder, Jack Ma, Takes Up Teaching Role in Japan

Jack Ma, the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has taken up a teaching position at Tokyo College in Japan. This marks one of the first public roles he has taken since he disappeared from the spotlight in 2020. According to an announcement by Tokyo College on May 1, Ma will research sustainable agriculture and food production as part of his new role.

In addition to his research, Ma will share his vast knowledge on entrepreneurship, innovation, and corporate management in seminars at the college. This is a return to teaching for Ma, who was an English teacher for several years before co-founding Alibaba. He retired from the company in September 2019 and said in May 2019 that he would go back to teaching after his retirement.

Ma’s return to a public role follows his disappearance from the spotlight in 2020 after he criticized China’s financial regulatory system. His comments led to a crackdown on tech firms in China, including Alibaba, which saw its share price plummet. Ma’s wealth also took a hit, falling from $61 billion to an estimated $33 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Since his disappearance, there has been intense speculation about Ma’s whereabouts. He was spotted in Japan in November 2022, where he socialized mainly within several private members clubs, and in January 2023, he was spotted in Bangkok, Thailand, where he visited a Michelin-starred street food restaurant and watched a Muay Thai fight. In March, he returned to a school he founded in his hometown of Hangzhou, China.

Ma’s new role as a visiting professor at Tokyo College marks his return to a public-facing role. It is also a sign that he is once again comfortable being in the public eye. While it is unclear what his long-term plans are, his return to teaching suggests that he is interested in sharing his knowledge and experience with others. His new role is also a reminder of his commitment to education and his roots as a teacher before he became a billionaire.

Alibaba Cloud to Launch Tongyi Qianwen Rival to ChatGPT

Alibaba Cloud, in its bid to launch its own version of ChatGPT, will have to take into account the impact of Chinese regulations on the ChatGPT market, as well as the influence of its competitors.

In what appears to be a major technological frenzy in today’s tech world, Alibaba Cloud, one of the major subsidiaries of Chinese multinational tech giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (HKG: 9988), is reportedly planning to launch its own rival to ChatGPT that is anticipated to be launched within the next few months. Several of Alibaba Cloud’s corporate clients have been receiving invitation codes or code points as reported by Trade Algo so that they can assist the company in testing out the new ChatGPT application which uses a Large Language Model (LLM) which is the brain that makes the ChatGPT program work.

As the name of the new application from the tech giant indicates, the new app is known as “Tongyi Qianwen” which has been taken in part from the philosopher Mencius. “Truth from a Thousand Questions” is the translation of the name of the new application and it is aptly descriptive of what role it will play in the Alibaba ecosystem of technology and innovation.

As the battle for dominance in search engine and digital advertising is soaring to a whole new pedestal in recent years, it is no coincidence that every tech company in the world is now attempting to launch its own conversational chatbot. Over 100 million users have used ChatGPT since its launch a few months ago, prompting a shift in how chat applications are approached from a transactional perspective to a conversational one.

There is no official word on how Alibaba plans on utilizing its own version of ChatGPT. However, the company currently powers some of the most popular applications in China and on the Asian continent, such as WeChat and the company’s e-commerce platform.

Alibaba wants users to take part in the testing and to record and report their findings. However, it has been observed that the chatbot is only likely to be usable by Chinese users since the instructional language is Mandarin. 

The proposed launch time might be tipped off next when Alibaba Cloud CEO, Daniel Zhang is set to deliver a speech at a Technology Summit that the company is set to host.

Alibaba Cloud and ChatGPT: Regulation and Competition

Alibaba Cloud will have to take into account the impact of regulations in China as well as the influence of competitors when trying to launch its own version of ChatGPT.

As the Xi Jinping government has been cracking down on the Chinese tech industry since 2020, the Chinese tech ecosystem is just beginning to see some freedom after years of repression. Although there are regulations governing AI that are presently in place, there are concerns that they may not be able to keep up with the level of sophistication that LLM applications can introduce with their high level of sophistication.

The clamor for ChatGPT-like applications is particularly popular among American companies like Alphabet, Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), but Chinese companies are also starting to show a great deal of interest in the industry.

Alibaba Clouds needs to take into account the impact of competition from other firms such as Baidu Inc, which recently launched a chatbot built with similar capabilities known as Ernie, in order to succeed in the long term.

The price of Alibaba has increased by 2.20% over the past 24 hours to 97.75 Hong Kong Dollars in response to the latest events and Alibaba’s investors appear to be ecstatic about them.