The billionaire co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been spotted in Spain in reportedly his first trip abroad since he butt heads with hawkish Chinese regulators.
The reports of Ma being alive and well, and seemingly not banned from leaving China, triggered Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares to jump 6.7 per cent on Wednesday – their highest closing level in two months, according to FactSet.
It is the first time Ma has left China or Hong Kong since the regulatory crackdown quashed the plans for Ant Group to go public last year, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.
Ma is expected to jet off to other European countries, sources say, to attend a string of business meetings, ‘taste wines’ and ‘see friends’, the sources added.
Though the billionaire’s schedule is fluid, he is reportedly expected to return to China next month.
The trip was reported first by the Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post.
City A.M. has contacted the Alibaba Group for comment.