Jack Ma is living in his plane according to Financial Times
Since Ant Group’s record US$37 billion (approximately S$49.7 billion) initial public offering (IPO) was suspended, Jack Ma has only appeared in public once. But the British “Financial Times” obtained the flight information of his private jet. This information shows that although the Chinese billionaire is quite a lot, he is still far from the point of being out.
The Financial Times reported the day before yesterday that the flight log compiled from data provided by the flight tracking company Radarbox also broke the rumors that Jack Ma had fled from China abroad or was under house arrest. In fact, the flight log shows that Jack Ma is still using his Gulfstream jet, which can easily take him to New York or London.
Jack Ma’s Gulfstream jet is parked at a private terminal in Hangzhou, where both Alibaba and Ant Group he founded are headquartered in Hangzhou. The “Financial Times” confirmed the plane, and the schedule of this plane coincided with the time of Jack Ma’s dozens of public appearances.
Radarbox data shows that none of the other private jets registered in China or the Cayman Islands-a popular place for Chinese billionaires to register aircraft-have had similar itineraries.
The flight log showed that after Jack Ma began to live in the simplest form, his originally busy schedule dropped sharply. Before October last year, Jack Ma would travel once every three days on average. From January to February this year, he only traveled about once a week, mainly to Beijing and Hainan, a tropical island resort. Bloomberg previously reported that someone had seen him play golf in Hainan.
“Financial Times” pointed out that even so, when Chinese regulators wanted to discuss Ant Group matters, it was Jack Ma who flew to Beijing to participate in the conversation. He is the controlling shareholder of the payment group, but he does not have a formal position. People familiar with Ant Group, Alibaba, and regulators confirmed that he was directly involved in discussions about the future fate of Ant Group.
The report quoted a person close to the regulator complaining that Jack Ma was still passing them and directly telling the top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party about his situation. A friend of Ma Yun confirmed this statement. This person said: “He can still get in touch with it.”
These records show that before and after Jack Ma delivered a controversial speech in Shanghai last October, his activities were intensive. In that speech, Jack Ma criticized China’s state-owned banks and regulators. The day after he made these remarks, his private jet flew to Beijing and stayed for four days.
A few days later, at 9 pm on November 1, Jack Ma flew from his hometown of Hangzhou to Beijing again. Chinese regulators announced shortly afterwards that they had interviewed Jack Ma and said that Ant Group would face new regulations, which actually caused Ant Group’s IPO to be stranded. Ma Yun’s plane stopped in Beijing for two weeks.
His next trip to Beijing will be on Christmas Day. Before that, the Chinese financial regulators publicly interviewed Ant Group for a second discussion on “financial regulation, fair competition, and protection of the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.”
At the end of January this year, his plane flew to Beijing again, and the Ant Group and the regulators finalized a restructuring plan. The plan has been agreed by all parties but has not yet been publicly announced. In contrast, flight data before October last year paints another picture: a billionaire travels across China to receive various awards and has been close to local officials.
According to the information compiled by the Financial Times, in late August last year, Jack Ma’s plane flew to Beijing, where he received an award from the Jordanian government in recognition of his help in fighting the coronavirus. At the Jordanian Embassy in China, Ma Yun said to the diplomats: “The virus does not have a passport and does not require a visa.” A few days later he flew to Kunming, where he will open a new campus for the business school he founded. .
Later, someone saw him and his plane in Dali, on the shore of Erhai Lake, and then he returned to Hangzhou to give a speech for the new school year.
Jack Ma arrived in Chongqing on September 9, where he ate skewers and drank beer until late at night. Next, he flew to Changsha and Fuzhou to meet with local officials, and then ate the famous hot dry noodles in Wuhan. Finally, he ended the month with a speech in Haikou.
At that time, Ma Yun said to the business people in the audience: “My judgment on the future: the long-term must be good, the near-term is very difficult, and the mid-term is more difficult. Now is the turbulent period of the plane passing through the clouds, so everyone must hold the steering wheel and fasten it seat belt.”