Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has reportedly been living in Tokyo, Japan, for nearly six months.
Since the Chinese government cracked down on the local technology industry, Jack Ma has kept a low profile and rarely appeared in public.
The British “Financial Times” quoted multiple unnamed sources, saying that jack Ma spent most of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other places in Japan, and also traveled to the United States and Israel.
According to the report, Jack Ma frequented several private members’ clubs in Tokyo. He is also fascinated by and actively collects Japanese modern art, while exploring the expansion of his business territory into the field of sustainable development.
As of November 2022, with a net worth of $21.7 billion, Ma is the fourth-wealthiest person in China (after Zhong Shanshan, Ma Huateng and Zhang Yiming), as well as the 36th wealthiest person in the world, ranked by Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
News outlets noted a lack of public appearances from Ma between October 2020 and January 2021, coinciding with a regulatory crackdown on his businesses.
The Financial Times reported that the disappearance may have been connected to a speech given at the annual People’s Bank of China financial markets forum, in which Ma criticised China’s regulators and banks.
In November 2020, the Financial Times reported the abrupt cancellation of the Ant Group’s anticipated initial public offering (IPO) after an intervention by financial regulators.
According to Chinese bankers and officials, financial stability was the objective behind the intervention. Some commentators speculated that Ma may have been a victim of forced disappearance, while others speculated that he could be voluntarily lying low.
Ma made a public appearance again on 20 January 2021, speaking via video link to a group of rural teachers at a charitable event, the annual Rural Teacher Initiative.
In February 2021, Bloomberg reported that he was seen golfing at the Sun Valley Golf Resort in the Chinese island of Hainan.
In March 2021, Ma and Alibaba were ordered by Chinese regulators to sell off certain media companies, including Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, as part of a Chinese campaign to curb the influence wielded by giant digital conglomerates.
In October 2021 Reuters reported Ma was on the Spanish island of Mallorca shopping at a local store. His superyacht was anchored in the Port of Andratx.