Jack Ma’s battle with Chinese regulators hasn’t stopped him from hitting the links.
The Alibaba founder — whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $61.4 billion — was spotted golfing recently after an unusually long absence from the public spotlight, according to Bloomberg News.
Ma’s course of choice was the Sun Valley Golf Resort, a scenic 27-hole complex on the southern tip of the Chinese island of Hainan, the outlet reported Wednesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
The school teacher turned e-commerce tycoon’s reported appearance was another sign th at Ma hadn’t been locked up or disappeared since he slammed China’s regulatory system in an October speech that apparently ruffled Beijing’s feathers.
Ma — whom one observer described as a “golfing novice” — may just be lying low while Alibaba and his digital payments firm, Ant Group, work through their problems with Chinese regulators, according to Bloomberg.
Officials halted Ant Group’s initial public offering in the wake of Ma’s speech, but the two sides have reached a restructuring deal that could be announced this week, Bloomberg reports.
Ma is one of China’s best-known business moguls, but he went nearly three months without appearing in public before he resurfaced at a Jan. 20 online ceremony that his charity organized for rural teachers.
His absence stirred speculation last month that he had gone missing — especially after he reportedly failed to appear on the final episode of an “Apprentice”-style TV show he created.
But Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son said this week that he had been in touch with Ma, who has been drawing pictures and sending them to the SoftBank CEO.
With Post wires