More to Jack Ma’s mysterious reappearance than meets the eye

Reports of his quiet lifestyle in Tokyo have emerged just as Beijing appears to be releasing its regulatory chokehold on the tech sector.

As Alibaba founder Jack Ma and the tech firms emerge from the regulatory darkness, they are likely to be more cautious, says the writer. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Mr Jack Ma, the previously larger-than-life tech entrepreneur and billionaire founder of Internet giant Alibaba, has been in hiding for two years. But this week, reports of his emergence from a clandestine life have circulated, just as China’s tech sector appears to be emerging from a period of stasis. 

The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that for the past six months, Mr Ma has been living in Tokyo. This is the latest in a series of sightings of the billionaire after disappearing suddenly from public view two years ago, despite previously retaining a very public persona engaging in conferences, speeches and appearances worldwide.

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