Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group, who had largely stayed out of the public eye since a regulatory crackdown began on his business empire late last year, is reportedly in Hong Kong and has recently met with business associates, according to two sources. This visit marks his first trip to the Asian financial hub since October of the previous year.

The Chinese billionaire had kept a low profile after delivering a speech in Shanghai in October last year, where he criticized China’s financial regulators, leading to the suspension of his company Ant Group’s mega IPO.

While Ma made a limited number of public appearances in mainland China during this time, his whereabouts had been a subject of speculation. One source mentioned that this Hong Kong visit is the first since his last appearance in October.

Alibaba Group, the e-commerce giant founded by Jack Ma, is also listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in addition to New York.

Ma, who is primarily based in Hangzhou, where his business empire is headquartered, is known to own at least one luxury residence in Hong Kong, which also houses some of his companies’ offshore business operations.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Typically, Jack Ma’s comments come through the company.

Jack Ma, once China’s most famous and outspoken entrepreneur, disappeared from public view for three months before reemerging in January this year, speaking to a group of teachers via video. His return eased concerns about his unusual absence from the public eye and resulted in a surge in Alibaba’s share prices.

In May, Jack Ma made a rare visit to Alibaba’s Hangzhou campus during the firm’s annual «Ali Day» staff and family event, according to company sources.

On September 1, photographs of Ma visiting several agricultural greenhouses in Zhejiang province went viral on Chinese social media. Zhejiang is home to both Alibaba and its fintech affiliate Ant.

The next day, Alibaba announced plans to invest 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) by 2025 in support of «common prosperity,» aligning with President Xi Jinping’s wealth-sharing initiative.

Alibaba and other tech giants in China have been under scrutiny by regulators, facing a range of issues from monopolistic behavior to consumer rights violations. In April, Alibaba was fined a record $2.75 billion over monopoly violations. Additionally, earlier this year, regulators imposed a sweeping restructuring on Ant Group, whose $37 billion initial public offering was canceled.

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