The pit stop in Pakistan by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has generated controversy. Ma completed a brief trip to Kathmandu before arriving in Lahore. A seven-person business delegation from China, Denmark, and the US followed Ma. Two sources told India Narrative that Ma could be considering certain “business opportunities” outside of China.
According to insiders, the trip to Nepal and Pakistan cannot only be seen as a holiday. He could be considering establishing “some kind” of enterprises in these nations or possibly entering into joint partnerships. Pakistan is frantically trying to increase investments as it struggles with one of its biggest economic crises since gaining independence.
Former Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI), Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, claimed that his trip to Pakistan was personal even though he shunned media representatives and government officials. Additionally, according to reports, Alibaba founder Ma may be considering stepping up his charity efforts in the country with a severe financial shortage.
According to the Express Tribune, Ma and his companions flew chartered from Hong Kong’s corporate aviation sector from Nepal to Pakistan.
Following the transfer of controlling interests to his fintech business Ant Group Co., Ma was seen in Australia in February.
After a confrontation with Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2020 that became nasty, Ma has kept a relatively low profile and avoided the spotlight.
Ma reportedly started traveling again in late 2022, according to a previous Bloomberg article. Before traveling to Thailand, he spent time in Tokyo and the countryside of Japan. He was seen in Hong Kong as well.
Alibaba was established in 1999 by Ma, a former English teacher in China at a time when the country had few internet users. Later, he introduced the Ant Group’s Alipay, an online payment service. Both businesses expanded to become the largest in their respective fields.
An analyst who attended one of the Alibaba events a few years ago told India Narrative that “he went on to become a cult figure, people used to go crazy when he appeared in public events, something that is not very common in China.”
Ma used to be quite outspoken about his views. He was also a vocal opponent of the regulatory framework. In contrast to other Chinese business people, the founder of Alibaba used to often appear at public gatherings and on television.