Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who was once the richest business magnate in China, has remained a mystery for the past two years now. The tycoon, known for his appearances at global public conferences and international events, faded away from the public eye since he spoke against the Chinese government's policies, including the "pawnshop mentality" of China's state-run banks in 2020.

However, it has been found that the mega-billionaire is now living in central Tokyo along with his family, instead of China, for about six months now, according to a report by a London-based global financial daily.

Before this, the Chinese e-commerce company founder has been spotted in countries like Spain and the Netherlands. Interestingly, his personal entourage, including a chef and security members, is also accompanying him. But, he has tried to keep a low profile in Tokyo as well, though he has become a prominent member of private clubs comprising wealthy Chinese settled in Japan. He has also reportedly tried to expand his interests beyond Alibaba and Ant by indulging in modern art. Some say he's been quite interested in the field of sustainability.

Activities at Ma's projects outside Ant and Alibaba like Hupan University and Jack Ma Foundation have also toned down a lot since his criticism of the authorities in China. This year, in a setback to Ma, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group sold a significant stake in Alibaba group for about $34 billion after it suffered heavy losses amid a global selloff in the tech industry.

The high-profile businessman's criticism of the Chinese authorities started in 2020 when he criticised China's regulators and banks, and even called for new players to take steps towards extending credit to collateral poor. The immediate aftereffect of his speech was the cancellation of the Ant Group's much-anticipated $37 billion initial public offering (IPO) by the financial regulators over the issue of financial stability. In March 2021, he was reportedly directed by the Chinese authorities to sell off certain media companies, including Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. The incident of his criticising the Chinese government also led to a string of actions against Chinese tech companies.

Following this, Ma disappeared from the public eye and curtailed his public appearances. In January 2021, he appeared via a video link at a charitable event of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative. In February 2021, he was seen golfing on the Chinese island of Hainan. In October 2021, he was spotted in Mallorca, Spain, shopping at a local store.

According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Jack Ma's total net worth stands at $30.7 billion, making him the 36th richest man in the world. In the year-to-date so far, coinciding with his fallout with the Chinese government, his net worth has dipped by about $7.74 billion. As per the index, China's tycoon Zhong Shanshan of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water company, remains the richest man in China with a net worth of $69.5 billion. His business interests also include pharmaceuticals, beverages and cosmetics.

Notably, Ma announced in September 2018 that he would retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work, philanthropy, and environmental causes, following which Daniel Zhang succeeded him as the company’s executive chairman. Ma also owns about a 10% stake in the online payment service Ant Group.

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