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Alibaba founder Ma spotted in Mallorca in rare trip abroad after China scrutiny

Jack Ma, billionaire founding father of Alibaba Group, arrives on the “Tech for Good” Summit in Paris, France Could 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

MALLORCA, Spain, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma was on the Spanish island of Mallorca the place his luxurious yacht is anchored, two Spanish newspapers stated on Wednesday, on his first journey overseas since he fell out with China’s regulators in 2020.

The Chinese language billionaire has largely been out of public view since he publicly criticised China’s regulatory system in a speech final 12 months. His empire promptly got here below heavy scrutiny by regulators, that even led to the suspension of Ant Group’s $37 billion blockbuster IPO.

The Diario de Mallorca newspaper stated Ma was seen on Tuesday within the port of Andratx shopping for dwelling decor at an area retailer.

The superyacht Zen has been transferring alongside Mallorca’s northwestern coast for the previous few days and was in Andratx on Tuesday.

It dropped anchor on Wednesday close to the seashore city of Santa Ponsa, however a Reuters cameraman might solely see smaller help boats returning to the superyacht from the shore empty, with Ma nowhere to be seen.

With out citing any sources, El Pais newspaper stated Ma had been visiting Spain’s Balearic Islands since Saturday, accompanied by numerous Chinese language enterprise folks and his safety element.

The glossy five-deck, vertical-bowed motor yacht, measuring 88 metres (289 ft), can accommodate as much as 16 friends and a crew of 25, in line with the Superyacht Occasions version. It was constructed within the Netherlands and delivered in April.

Ma, a globe-trotter not identified to shrink back from the limelight earlier than falling out with regulators, retired as Alibaba’s chairman in 2019.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Publish, which is owned by Alibaba, reported on Tuesday that Ma was in Spain for a research tour on agriculture and expertise associated to environmental points after spending “non-public time” along with his household in Hong Kong.

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Alibaba Group’s Hong Kong shares rose almost 10% earlier on Wednesday, extending positive aspects for the fourth consecutive session, with brokers saying that traders noticed Ma’s journey as an indication of the central authorities enjoyable its scrutiny over the group.

A Spanish banking trade supply advised Reuters Ma had visited Mallorca in his firm in 2019 and that the billionaire appreciated to “usually spend time” within the Balearic Islands.

Extra reporting by Belen Carreno and Andrei Khalip; Modifying by Nick Macfie

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