Posted November 30, 2022, 8:24 amUpdated on November 30, 2022, at 14.31.
A discreet reunion. The founder and former head of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been living in Tokyo for almost six months, the Financial Times says. In the Japanese capital, he leads a very discreet life, frequenting only a few very select private clubs in the Japanese capital and occasionally going on country trips with his family, people around him told the FT.
Jack Ma would also have visited the US and Israel several times, again according to the “Financial Times”. Since 2021, it has also been seen in Spain and the Netherlands.
In Japan, one of Jack Ma’s old acquaintances is Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank Group, who has been a strategic shareholder in Alibaba since the company’s inception in 1999. SoftBank Group recently reduced its stake in Alibaba to 14.6% from 23.7%. previously to ease his own financial difficulties.
A brutal disappearance
Before this erased existence, the Chinese businessman, the second richest man in China, was widely talked about, and even became the most famous businessman in China. Then, by the end of 2020, he had disappeared from the media amid Beijing authorities’ takeover of Chinese technology. In fact, while he was the symbol of the “self-made man” to his countrymen, Jack Ma openly attacked the Chinese financial regulators in October 2020.
In response, Beijing had at the last minute blocked the giant IPO of Ant Group, a former subsidiary of Alibaba specializing in fintech. And Alibaba was subsequently fined $2.8 billion for anti-competitive practices in China.
Jack Ma then abruptly disappeared from the radar for nearly three months between late 2020 and early 2021, before reappearing in an online video praising the work of teachers working in rural China. This short video posted online was enough to boost the e-commerce giant’s stock price and reassure observers. News of his life in Japan could have the same effect.