Alibaba founder Jack Ma is “happy,” according to company president Michael Evans. The comments come as speculation about the billionaire’s activities continues following China’s crackdown on Mao’s empire.

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PARIS — Alibaba Founder Jack Ma is “alive” and “happy,” the Chinese e-commerce giant’s president said Thursday, as speculation continued about the billionaire’s activities following Beijing’s crackdown on his tech empire.

“Well, first of all, Jack is alive. He’s well, he’s happy. He’s creative. He’s thinking. He’s teaching at the University of Tokyo, spending more time in China,” said Alibaba president Michael Evans at the Viva Tech conference in Paris. .

The comments were in response to a question about Ma from Maurice Levy, chairman of French advertising group Publicis. It confirmed continued interest in the billionaire’s whereabouts after he and Alibaba became the target of an intense regulatory crackdown by Beijing.

He cares… about this company today as much as he did when he started, and I expect that will continue as long as Alibaba and Jack Ma are around.

Michael Evans

President, Alibaba

That scrutiny began in November 2020 when Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial technology arm, also founded by Ma, was forced by regulators cancel its initial public offeringwhich would be the largest in the world.

Alibaba was hit with a $2.8 billion antitrust fine in 2021. Meanwhile, China’s tech sector has had to comply with a slew of new regulations in areas ranging from competition to data privacy.

The mum was out of the public eye for several months, prompting speculation that he had disappeared.

Why are Chinese billionaires under the radar?

Evans said Ma is still Alibaba’s largest shareholder, showing the billionaire’s commitment to the company.

“This is his company. So he’s taking care of this company today … just like he did when he started, and I expect that will continue as long as Alibaba and Jack Ma are here,” Evans said.

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