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Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, recently expanded his business portfolio by launching a new startup called “Hangzhou Ma’s Kitchen Food.” Also known as “Ma’s Kitchen,” the enterprise is based in Ma’s hometown, Hangzhou, which also serves as Alibaba’s base.

  • Ma’s Background: Jack Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 and stepped down as chairman in 2019, a year before landing in hot water for criticizing Chinese financial regulators and banks. His latest business endeavor is drawing immense attention, coinciding with a time when investors were closely watching his business interests.
  • Company Focus: Ma’s Kitchen will focus on selling pre-packaged food, imports and exports, and selling “edible agricultural products.”
  • Funding Status: The company, with a registered capital of 10 million yuan ($1.4M), is owned entirely by Hangzhou Dajingtou No. 22 Arts and Culture, in which Ma owns 99.9%.
  • Intriguing Aspects: It is speculated that Ma may tap into the burgeoning market for ready-to-eat meals in China, which, according to Euromonitor International, was worth around 71.1 billion yuan ($9.9B) last year, showing a jump of 28% from 2018. The demand for meal kits has also surged, with the market nearly tripling from 10.6B yuan ($1.5B) in 2018 to 29.1 billion yuan ($4B) in 2022.

Ben Cavender, managing director of China Market Research Group, highlights the immense innovation potential within this space and notes the growing popularity of packaged meals among consumers. He attributes this trend to time constraints and an increased desire for variety in food options created by the pandemic and the subsequent economic slowdown in China.

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