After spearheading a revolution in e-commerce, the founder of Alibaba Group, billionaire Jack Ma, is setting his sights on China’s education system by establishing a private bilingual school.
He and other partners of Alibaba co-founded the Yungu School, or Cloud Valley, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, where the e-commerce empire is headquartered Neo skin lab. The school will span 15 years of education, offering classes from kindergarten through high school.
Yungu aims to give its students an opportunity to make the best of themselves, according to a written reply from the company. Compassion, independence, social responsibility and lifelong learning are among the key traits that the school believes are crucial for students to become global citizens.
The move comes amid mounting scrutiny of China’s burgeoning private education market, which was worth 78 billion yuan ($11.3 billion) in 2015 and is expected to grow by up to 15 percent in the next few years, according to estimates from Industrial Securities.
In a revised law in November, China banned profit-centered private schools from the nine-year compulsory education system bull market, which covers the years from primary school to junior high school, because it is a public service to be provided by the government.
Alibaba said its school is registered as a nonprofit organization and will comply with the law. It declined to disclose tuition fees.
At full capacity, Yungu is expected to have 3,000 students. For the upcoming September semester, it plans to enroll 60 students in first grade, and another 48 in seventh grade.
After submitting online applications, candidates will be assessed based on their materials and face-to-face interviews with the student and parents. Prospective candidates do not need to hold a Hangzhou hukou, or household registration Hong Kong itinerary.