Tokyo, Nov 30 – The billionaire founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been living in Tokyo for the last six months after the deterioration of his relationship with the Chinese authorities and his disappearance from public life in that country, according to the newspaper Financial Times (FT).

Ma has remained in the Japanese capital with his family and in recent months has also made trips to other parts of Japan, in addition to frequent visits to the United States and Israel, among other countries, according to sources close to the FT magnate.

The Chinese businessman has kept a very low profile since he fell out of favor with Beijing towards the end of 2020, as a result of his criticism of the Asian giant’s financial bureaucracy and the frustrated IPO of his fintech Ant Group.

Added to the Ant Group fiasco was the largest antitrust fine in Chinese history, imposed by Beijing on Alibaba in April 2021, worth $2.8 billion.

Ma’s absence from public life in China has coincided with the new restrictions applied in the country within the framework of the “zero covid” policy in some of the country’s main cities, including Shanghai or Hangzhou, where Alibaba has its headquarters. and in which the businessman also owns a house.

During his stay in Tokyo, Ma has also opted for discretion and has reduced his social life to a series of private clubs in the exclusive neighborhoods of Ginza and Marunouchi, frequented by other Chinese businessmen residing in Japan or staying in the country for long periods of time. , according to the aforementioned sources.

His presence in Japan has given rise to speculation about Ma’s movements related to Ant Group, whose control the Chinese businessman is planning to cede, as well as Alibaba.

The Japanese technology giant Softbank actually announced a reduction of its stakes in Alibaba from 24.28% to 23.73% between April and June, a transaction that coincided with Ma’s stay in Tokyo and that he reported to the Japanese firm. earnings of 5.37 trillion yen (37,130 million euros).

Ma himself served on Softbank’s board of directors until mid-2020, while the founder and CEO of the Japanese group, Masayoshi Son, also held a seat on Alibaba’s board of directors until similar dates.

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