The founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, who was once one of China’s wealthiest businesspeople, mostly vanished from public view two years ago following a run-in with the law. The Financial Times claimed on Tuesday that he had since reappeared in Tokyo, citing sources with firsthand knowledge of his location.
Ma, a fiery teacher who has become a tech giant, was once a well-known jet-setter and the face of China’s Big Tech. However, since making a speech in which he criticized China’s financial regulatory system in October 2020, he has been keeping a low profile.
His remarks incensed the Chinese government, which resulted in a close regulatory examination of his enterprises and a wider crackdown on internet companies operating there.
Since Ma disappeared from the spotlight, there has been a lot of speculative discussion over his whereabouts.
According to information posted on the Dutch university’s website, the billionaire was spotted in July at Wageningen University & Research.
Despite having lived in Tokyo for close to six months, according to the Financial Times report, Ma has kept a low profile and has spent much of his time socializing at a number of exclusive clubs. According to reports, he also took his family on vacation to hot springs and rural ski areas while he was in Japan.
According to the article, Ma has been visiting the US and Israel on a regular basis.
Japan had some of the strictest border controls in the world during the pandemic, similar to China, but visa-free travel was reinstated this month. Contrarily, lockdowns have continued in China, sparking unusual rallies against the government this past weekend.
The wealthiest citizens of China saw their net worth plummet as a result, which pressured Chinese IT and real estate enterprises. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ma, who peaked at nearly $61 billion in value in October 2020, is now estimated to be worth roughly $30.7 billion. That’s partly due to Alibaba’s stock price dropping by nearly 75% from its peak in 2020.
Ma retired from his position as Alibaba’s chairman in 2019. He remains a board member of the Jack Ma Foundation, which he established.
A request for response from Insider was not immediately answered by the foundation.
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