Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who hasn’t been seen in public in three years, has been seen at a school in Hangzhou, according to a report.
The Chinese billionaire has disappeared from the public eye after criticizing China’s financial regulators in 2020. He has maintained a low profile afterwards
Mr Ma was the most well-known Chinese billionaire to vanish amid a crackdown on tech entrepreneurs.
According to the South China Morning Post, he recently returned to China after spending more than a year abroad.
According to the Alibaba-owned newspaper, he made a brief stopover in Hong Kong, where he met friends and briefly visited Art Basel, an international art fair.
It went on to say that Mr Ma had been travelling to different countries to learn about agricultural technology, but it made no mention of why he had vanished from public view in recent years.
Mr Ma, once China’s richest man, relinquished control of financial technology behemoth Ant Group in January of this year.
Some commentators saw it as further proof that he had enraged the Chinese Communist Party by becoming too outspoken and powerful.
Mr Ma stated at a financial conference in October 2020 that traditional banks have a “pawn-shop mentality.”
The following month, Chinese authorities cancelled Ant’s planned £26 billion stock market flotation, which would have been the world’s largest, at the last minute, citing “major issues” with regulatory compliance.
Since then, sightings of him have been reported in a number of countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Australia.
The Financial Times reported in November that Mr Ma had been living in Tokyo, Japan, for six months.
When Mr Ma first stopped appearing in public, it was rumoured that he had been placed under house arrest or otherwise detained.