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Jack Ma makes his first trip outside of China since colliding in Beijing

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Jack Ma is on vacation in Spain, according to two people familiar with his travel plans, marking the Chinese internet mogul’s first confirmed trip outside of China since clashing with the country’s financial regulators over the end of last year.

Hong Kong-traded shares of Alibaba, Ma’s e-commerce group, rose 9.2% on Wednesday. The Hang Seng technology index, meanwhile, rose 3.3%.

Ma has only made a handful of low-key appearances in China since the initial public offering of Ant Group, its online funding platform, was blocked by President Xi Jinping in November, shortly. after the mogul publicly criticized Chinese financial regulators in a speech.

Prior to traveling to Europe, Ma had traveled to Hong Kong, where he has a home, according to one person familiar with his route, as well as another person familiar with his travels. One of the people said that Ma was spending time in Spain on her luxury yacht Zen in Port d’Andratx, Mallorca.

Ma’s overseas trip was first reported by the South China Morning Post, which is controlled by Alibaba. The Hong Kong newspaper said it was on a “study trip” to agricultural areas and Spanish businesses.

An Alibaba spokesperson declined to comment. Ma could not be reached for comment.

Alibaba was fined a record $ 2.75 billion in April for alleged monopoly abuses. Meanwhile, Ant Group is undergoing a central bank-ordered restructuring that could help jumpstart its IPO plans, but at a lower valuation than it almost got in November. Had it happened, Ant’s planned $ 37 billion IPO would have been the largest in the world.

In recent months, Chinese regulators have focused on Didi Chuxing, the ridesharing group and other tech companies that control vast treasures of sensitive data.

Didi angered the Xi administration by proceeding with a $ 4.4 billion New York IPO despite official concerns about its data security practices. It is currently under a multi-agency review of its operations and has been temporarily banned from registering new users pending the investigation.

Xi also ditched his regulatory scrutiny of China’s largest private-sector tech groups to launch a broader campaign to secure “common prosperity” and reduce social inequalities in the world’s second-largest economy.

The campaign included the enforcement of tough new borrowing limits for real estate developers, which brought Evergrande, one of China’s largest real estate companies, to the brink of insolvency.

Ma and other top Chinese tech entrepreneurs have pledged billions of dollars to the Common Prosperity Campaign. In early September, Alibaba announced that it would contribute 100 billion Rmb ($ 15.5 billion) to the effort, which matches a similar pledge from its biggest rival, Pony Ma’s Tencent Group.

Ma’s first public appearance after Ant’s IPO was canceled was in January for an annual event hosted by her rural education charity. At the time, Ma said that he and his colleagues had “become more determined to dedicate themselves to education and public welfare.”

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