Jack Ma’s ‘Hupan University’ gets a new name: media reports
Published: May 17, 2021 11:03 AM
Hupan University photo: VCG

Hupan University photo: VCG

Hupan University, an elite business school founded by Alibaba's founder billionaire Jack Ma, is likely to be renamed. 

According to videos and photos widely circulated on Chinese social media platforms, workers were seen removing the Chinese characters of "Hupan University" carved at the university's landmark stone placard in Hangzhou city, the capital of Zhejiang Province.

The university has not responded to an interview request by the Global Times as of press time. In a response to other media, Hupan University confirmed that its name has been revised to Zhejiang Hupan Entrepreneurship Research Center to avoid further misunderstanding. 

"Hupan was registered as private non-enterprise organization since it was set up, and not in the form of education with record of formal schooling," it said.

The name of the university on several social media platforms, including the official account of its Weibo account which has about 100,000 followers, has been changed to "Hupan Entrepreneurship Research Center." The name of its official Wechat account has been changed to "Hupan," and the account' operating entity has been changed to "Zhejiang Hupan University entrepreneurship research center, " categorized as private non-enterprise organization. 

Some Chinese netizens speculated that the move could indicate a temporary halt of the university's operation, on heels of Alibaba's record antitrust fine of $2.8 billion by Chinese market regulators.

The enrollment information for academic 2021 year was not available on the university's official website. Some media outlets hinted in April that the university suspended the first-year class which was scheduled to embark in March. 

Ma founded the Hupan University in 2015, along with eight of his business and academic associates. 

Ma was elected the head of the university. According to an introduction, Ma said that "Hupan will go on for 300 years," and he hoped that in 30 years, the organization would have trained 3,000 entrepreneurs in the country.

The entry requirements for Hupan University are very strict. An eligible applicant must be the founder of a company that is at least three years old, has more than 30 employees and a yearly business revenue of more than 30 million yuan ($4.25 million). 

On top of that, applicants also need to provide proof of their business' tax payments and provide three recommendation letters, at least one of whom must be from the University's list of certified referees.

In October 2020, Ma criticized traditional banks as operating with a "pawn shop" mentality in a controversial remark delivered to the Bund Summit in Shanghai.

 Global Times 

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