Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma spending his time on philanthropy and hobbies like painting
PUBLISHED TUE, JUN 15 20219:05 AM EDTUPDATED TUE, JUN 15 202110:05 PM EDT
Alibaba founder Jack Ma is still lying low, focusing on hobbies and philanthropy, according to a company executive.
The billionaire founder has had a rocky year with the Chinese government, leading to time out of the public eye.
“He’s actually doing very, very well. He’s taken up painting as a hobby, it’s actually pretty good,” Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
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Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai: Jack Ma is fine and ‘lying low right now’
founder Jack Ma is staying out of the limelight, focusing his efforts on hobbies and philanthropy, according to a company executive.
“He’s lying low right now, I talk to him every day,” Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman, said Tuesday in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box
.” “He’s actually doing very, very well. He’s taken up painting as a hobby, it’s actually pretty good.”
“The idea that Jack has this enormous amount of power, I think that’s not quite right. He is just like you and me, he’s a normal individual. He built a tremendous company of this scale, he’s done great things for society ... I think today he just wants to sort of say, ‘Hey, I want to focus on what I really want to spend time on,’ which is all the hobbies, all the philanthropy.”
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Why are China’s billionaires going under the radar?
Chinese regulators also in December opened a probe
into the company’s practices. In April, Beijing hit the company with a $2.8 billion fine
, saying it abused its market dominance.
Tsai said the company is moving forward from the fine.
“I think you have to separate what’s happening to Jack and what’s happening to our business. Our business is under some kind of restructuring on the financial side of things, and also in antitrust regulation. We had to pay a big fine. But we’ve gotten that behind us, so we’re looking forward,” Tsai said.
“There’s a lot of that undertone of anti-Asian sentiment. When things are good, that’s fine. When things are bad for everyone, that’s when those ugly” anti-Asian attitudes surface, Tsai said.
— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.
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