Alibaba’s Jack Ma spotted in Japan after China crackdown: report

TechnologyAlibaba's Jack Ma spotted in Japan after China crackdown:...


Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba who rose to become one of China’s richest people, has been living in Japan for the past six months after disappearing from public view amid Beijing’s crackdown on tech companies, according to a report.

Ma has been keeping a low profile while he takes up hobbies like painting watercolors, collecting art, bathing in hot springs, and skiing in the countryside outside of Tokyo, the Financial Times reported.

The tech mogul has also frequented exclusive membership clubs in Tokyo’s Ginza and Marunouchi districts, where he rubs shoulders with wealthy Chinese businesspeople who have also left the mainland and have relocated to Japan’s capital city.

The 58-year-old Ma, who has largely turned over control of his companies to younger executives, is said to be venturing into non-tech businesses involving sustainability.

Ma, whose net worth has been pegged by Bloomberg Billionaires Index at $30.2 billion, has largely disappeared from the public eye since October 2020, when he openly criticized Chinese state regulators for allegedly stifling innovation.

The billionaire co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba has not been seen in public often since criticizing Chinese regulators back in October 2020.
via REUTERS

The Chinese government retaliated by halting the $37 billion initial public offering of Ant Group, an online finance platform that grew out of Alipay, Alibaba’s in-house mobile payment app.

Alibaba’s share price sank, which cost Ma his status as China’s richest tycoon. In the days before Ma offered up his criticism of state regulators, his net worth reached a peak of more than $60 billion.

Jack Ma was seen playing golf in the Czech Republic last year.
The 58-year-old Ma was seen playing golf in the Czech Republic last year.
Marek Patek David Kundrát/CNC/P

Since then, the normally voluble Ma has gone silent, canceling a TV appearance and avoided social media.

That has prompted a flurry of speculation about what might happen to Ma, China’s biggest global business celebrity and a symbol of its tech boom.

In recent months, Ma generated headlines after he was spotted on a yacht off the cost of the Spanish island of Mallorca. He also paid a visit to a Dutch university to learn about sustainable food production.

Last year, Ma was also seen playing golf in the Czech Republic.

Jack Ma, Alibaba Group founder, visits a Dutch flower grower Anthura in the Netherlands
Ma has reportedly taken up hobbies including painting watercolors and collecting art while living in Japan.
via REUTERS

China is in the grip of nationwide turmoil as citizens gathered for rare mass protests to denounce the government’s strict “COVID zero” lockdown policies that have disrupted the global economy.

Chinese authorities have confined millions of people to their homes in an effort to stamp out COVID infections, which are on the rise nationwide.

Jack Ma's superyacht off the coast of the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Last year, Ma’s superyacht was spotted off the coast of the Spanish island of Mallorca.
REUTERS

Footage shared widely on social media in recent days shows Chinese citizens confronting police in defiance of lockdown orders.

The Communist Party has taken steps in the direction Georgieva recommends, switching to isolating buildings or neighborhoods with infections instead of whole cities and made other changes it says are aimed at reducing the human and economic cost.

But a spike in infections since October has prompted local authorities who are facing pressure from above to impose quarantines and other restrictions that residents say are too extreme.

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