Jack Ma: Alibaba founder seen in public again

Image commercially licensed from DepositPhotos
Image commercially licensed from DepositPhotos

According to reports, Alibaba founder Jack Ma was spotted again at a school in Hangzhou. Ma has been seen in public only a few times in the last three years.

Since 2020, when he made disparaging remarks about China’s financial regulators, the 58-year-old has remained out of the public eye.

Mr. Ma was the most well-known Chinese millionaire to go missing during a crackdown on tech entrepreneurs.

According to the South China Morning Post, he recently returned to China after spending more than a year abroad.

According to the newspaper owned by Alibaba, he made a brief layover in Hong Kong, where he saw friends and briefly attended the prestigious art festival, Art Basel.

It also stated that Mr. Ma has been to other nations to learn about agricultural technologies, but it did not specify why he has been absent from public view for the previous few years.

Mr. Ma, who used to teach English, visited with instructors and toured around classes at Hangzhou’s Yungu School, where Alibaba is headquartered.

According to the school’s social media page, he discussed the issues that artificial intelligence could cause in teaching.

“ChatGPT and similar technologies are only the beginning of the AI era. Instead of allowing AI to make decisions for us, we should use it to solve problems, “He stated.

Mr. Ma was formerly China’s richest person, but in January of this year, he relinquished control of the massive financial technology company Ant Group.

Some took it as evidence that the Chinese Communist Party despised him because he was too loud and powerful.

Jack Ma stated at a financial conference in October 2020 that traditional banks have a “pawn-shop mindset.”

The next month, Ant planned to go public on the stock market with a £26 billion offering, the world’s largest. Nevertheless, Chinese authorities abruptly canceled the deal, claiming “serious concerns” with the company’s regulation.

Others have reported seeing him in Spain, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Australia, among other countries, since then.

According to the Financial Times, Jack Ma has been in Tokyo, Japan, for six months.

When Mr. Ma first stopped going out in public, people assumed he was under house arrest or otherwise detained.

Jack Ma stepped down from Ant Group

Ant Group, a massive fintech firm, will no longer be led by Jack Ma.

After a regulatory crackdown, Ant Group’s billionaire founder, Jack Ma, will relinquish control of the Chinese fintech behemoth.

Ant Group said no one would be in command after the shift.

Mr. Ma, who used to be highly outgoing, has been seen in public very infrequently since 2020 when he lambasted China’s financial sector.

Because of this criticism, Ant Group’s attempt to go public on the stock exchange was abruptly halted.

Ant Group operates Alipay, which has mostly replaced cash, cheques, and credit cards as China’s primary online payment method.

Jack Ma, a former English teacher who founded the e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, owns more than 50% of Ant Group, both directly and indirectly.

According to Ant Group, after the changes to the firm’s management, he will control slightly more than 6% of the company.

Ant’s £26 billion IPO, the world’s largest, was canceled at the last minute in November 2020.

The Chinese authorities announced at the last minute that there were “serious problems” with regulating the company.

According to some commentators, the Chinese government was attempting to put a corporation and its CEO in their place because they had grown too powerful and vociferous.

The government intervened when Jack Ma stated at a finance conference that traditional banks had a “pawn-shop mindset.”

He also lauded the benefits of digital banking and stated that loan decisions in the future should be based on data rather than collateral.

Following the failure of the stock market float that was expected to make Mr. Ma the richest person in China, he remained absent for three months, sparking speculation about his whereabouts.

According to reports, he ultimately reappeared but has remained out of the spotlight since.

Jack Ma oversees Ant since he has an interest in it and makes choices in collaboration with other shareholders.

However, Ant stated that the shareholders had resolved not to vote together anymore and would only vote individually.

The manner in which shares are held will also alter.

Ant, on the other hand, stated that the economic interests of stockholders would not change.

According to Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research, Jack Ma’s choice to leave Ant Financial, which he founded, demonstrates the Chinese government’s determination to limit the dominance of huge private investors.

“This trend will prevent the Chinese economy’s most productive sectors from improving.”

Ant Group is nearly finished with a two-year restructure mandated by regulators. According to Reuters, Chinese officials are preparing to punish the corporation with more than $1 billion.

Read Also: Is Bao Fan the latest victim of vanishing?

The anticipated punishment is part of a two-year-long campaign on China’s IT titans. This crackdown has reduced their value by hundreds of billions of dollars and sales and profits.

But, the government has recently modified its tone to assist the Chinese economy, which the Covid pandemic has harmed.