Chinese billionaire Jack Ma in Australia after crediting the country with transforming his life
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has been pictured in Australia on a “personal trip” – the first time in years he has visited the country he believes has changed his life.
Mr Ma, the founder of multinational tech company Alibaba Group, is visiting Australia for the first time in six years.
The sighting of him sitting in the lobby of a Melbourne hotel sipping a Coke has sparked widespread speculation as he has been forced to keep a low profile since falling out of favor with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2020.
The rarity of his public appearances means sightings of Mr. Ma, 58, have gone instant viral on the internet.
One person who knew of his visit said: “It was just a personal journey” during which he is believed to have met the Morley family, whom he has known for over four decades.
In 1980, Mr Ma, then 15, met the Morley family of Newcastle, NSW while they were vacationing in his hometown of Hangzhou.
Jack Ma is pictured at a cafe on a recent trip to Melbourne. Sightings of him have become rare since he fell out of favor with President Xi Jinping in 2020
Ken Morley, an electrical engineer, became a mentor to the teenager and helped him practice his English.
In 1985, Mr Ma visited the Morleys on his first overseas trip and was photographed on a ferry in Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and Harbor Bridge behind him.
“When I arrived in Australia I was so shocked and amazed by the wonderful things, the people, the culture, the landscapes, the products,” he told the Australian Financial Review in 2016.
How did Jack Ma become a billionaire?
Jack Ma founded Alibaba, an Amazon-style online store, with friends in his hometown of Hangzhou in 1999.
Alibaba changed the way hundreds of millions of Chinese bought and paid for goods.
Business magazine Forbes says his net worth is now $35.3 billion after falling about 30 percent during China’s tech crackdown.
In 2019, Mr. Ma resigned as chairman of Alibaba to focus on his charity foundation.
In early 2023, he relinquished his voting rights in Ant Group, a tech spinoff from Alibaba.
“I was raised…in China, that China is the best and richest country in the world…when I arrived in Australia I saw that the world was so different,” he said, adding the trip “totally changed my future “.
David Morley, son of the late Ken Morley, has known Mr Ma since childhood and now runs a yoga school in Newcastle.
He told AFR that he could not speak publicly about Mr. Ma’s visit or plans.
The billionaire loves the country that so impressed him as a teenager so much that in 2017 he set up a $29 million scholarship fund through the University of Newcastle to honor the Morleys.
He also uses Melbourne as a base for a branch of his philanthropic foundation, the Australian reported.
In 2020, Mr. Ma was the most prominent victim of a crackdown launched by Mr. Xi against the generation of people who made billions from technology.
Mr Xi was reportedly outraged by Mr Ma’s criticism of China’s financial regulators.
Before that, Mr. Ma was China’s most prominent businessman and was often seen in the company of world leaders.
He is believed to have been living in Tokyo for the past six months, although it is not clear if he is in exile or just avoiding Chinese authorities.
Mr. Ma has also been spotted in America, Thailand, Israel and Hong Kong recently.
Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma is pictured as a teenager on a ferry in Sydney Harbor (front) in 1985
Jessica Rudd, the daughter of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, previously worked as a brand ambassador for Alibaba.
Speaking in 2019, she spoke of admiring his generosity with his money.
“Ma was always ahead of his time, and philanthropy is a new frontier for China,” she told AFR.
“For a nation that just lifted half a billion people out of poverty, it’s a quick turnaround to shift to a culture of giving, so I’m glad Jack will lead the way.”
Despite all the turbulence of the past few years, the only thing that hasn’t seemed to change is Mr Ma’s love for Australia.
“I love Australia and love going there. This is the country that changed the way I look at life,” he said.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/chinese-billionaire-jack-ma-in-australia-after-crediting-country-with-changing-his-life/ Chinese billionaire Jack Ma in Australia after crediting the country with transforming his life