Alibaba founder Jack Ma smells the orchids on Dutch horticulture tour


Ma visits a Dutch flower grower Anthura in the town of Bleiswijk, Netherlands on Oct 25, 2021. — Anthura/Handout via Reuters

HONG KONG/AMSTERDAM: Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, largely out of public view since criticising China’s regulatory system last year, has smelled orchids and brushed up his knowledge of horticulture on a surprise visit to the Netherlands, a flower developer who met him said.

The Chinese billionaire’s empire came under heavy official scrutiny after a speech in October in Shanghai, which accused the regulatory system of stifling innovation, and the blockbuster US$37bil (RM153.32bil) IPO of his fintech affiliate Ant Group was suspended.

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