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Since China’s crackdown on tech, Alibaba founder Jack Ma lives in Tokyo, visits Israel

Ma has virtually vanished from public view since he publicly chastised Chinese regulators two years ago.

Jack Ma. Source: Hajue Staudt/Wikimedia Commons.
Jack Ma. Source: Hajue Staudt/Wikimedia Commons.

Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba e-commerce and technology company and once China’s richest business leader, has been living in central Tokyo for nearly six months, amid Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on the country’s technology sector and its most influential executives.

His months-long stay in Japan with his family has included spells in hot springs and ski resorts in the countryside outside of Tokyo, according to sources quoted by the Financial Times on Tuesday. He also regularly travels to the U.S. and Israel.

Ma has virtually vanished from public view since he publicly chastised Chinese regulators two years ago, accusing state banks of having a “pawnshop mentality” and pushing for brave new players to offer credit to the collateral poor.

Since then, his enterprises, fintech arm Ant and e-commerce giant Alibaba, have faced several regulatory challenges. Last year, Chinese regulators canceled Ant’s $37 billion initial public offering and penalized Alibaba a record $2.8 billion for antitrust violations.

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