Chinese business magnate and co-founder of Alibaba Group Holdings BABA Jack Ma was reportedly spotted in Europe after largely disappearing from public view for almost two years.
What Happened: The 57-year-old Ma was seen in restaurants in Austria, toured a university in the Netherlands to learn about sustainable agriculture, and docked his yacht off the Spanish island of Mallorca, according to Bloomberg, which also cited local reports.
Although it was not the billionaire’s first trip outside China since he criticized Xi Jinping’s Communist Party officials in 2020, it signals the Chinese government’s easing pressure on him after he stepped back from his business empire, as per the report.
Why It Matters: This comes as a stark change from the days when the government officials told the Ma not to leave the country.
Nearly two months ago, rumors surfaced that the Chinese authorities have placed an individual with the last name Ma under “compulsory curbs” in the city of Hangzhou. Following this, Alibaba shares briefly lost $26 billion in market cap showing how skittish investors had been about the tycoon’s fate.
Meanwhile, Alibaba shares fell over 5% following reports billionaire is planning to cede control of Ant Group. The move is seen as part of the effort to move away from affiliate Alibaba post an extended period of extraordinary pressure from Chinese regulators.
Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, US-listed shares of Alibaba ended lower by 2.16% at $100.55 on Thursday.
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