Before you read:
- Founder Jack Ma to give up control of fintech giant Ant Group
- Jack Ma resigns from influential China business group months after moving to Japan
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma was spotted in Thailand shortly before Ant Group, the financial tech giant he founded, announced that he will be relinquishing control of the company.
Jay Fai, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Bangkok known for its crab omelet, posted a photo of Ma and the eatery’s owner on Instagram on Jan. 6.
“Incredibly humble, we are honored to welcome you and your family to Jay Fai’s,” the caption on the post reads.
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Jay Fai was featured in the Bangkok episode of the 2019 Netflix docuseries “Street Food: Asia.”
Ma, who was once China’s richest man, was at the restaurant with Supakit Chearavanont, the chair of the Charoen Pokphand Group, according to local media.
He was also reportedly photographed attending a Muay Thai boxing training on Thursday with the Thai boxing champion Sombat “Buakaw” Banchamek.
The photos came just before Ant Group announced Ma would give up control of the company on Saturday. Shareholders agreed to “independently exercise their voting rights” and remove Ma’s voting control of the firm.
According to South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, the parent company of Ant Group also founded by Ma, the Chinese business magnate left Japan to study farming and fishery technologies in Thailand.
Since 2021, Ma has visited research institutes to learn about sustainable food production and food-related technology. In Japan, where he reportedly lived for several months, he studied tuna farming due to his interest in the food industry and sustainable agriculture.
Ma has maintained a low profile after facing trouble with the Chinese government for criticizing the nation’s financial-regulation system in 2019.