Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Alibaba’s Jack Ma hits Hauraki Gulf with local crew

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All aboard, pictured from left are Bucklands Beach-based Olympian Bruce Kendall, experienced skipper Aaron Taunt and Jonathan Huang. China’s richest businessman Jack Ma asked not to be in the photo.

Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has been exploring the Hauraki Gulf with an east Auckland businessman and an Olympian.

On February 18, Howick-based mobile marine digital platform ShareBoating – based in Whitford – played host to Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma.

Captained by two-time Olympic medallist and ShareBoating partner Bruce Kendall from Bucklands Beach, and co-captained by Aaron Taunt, Ma enjoyed a full day of cruising, swimming, snorkelling, and fishing aboard the Sunseeker.

With support from ShareBoating CEO Wayne Huang’s son, Jonathan Huang, Ma and his business associates explored the Hauraki Gulf, Whangaparaoa and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Jonathan acted as a bilingual assistant [he also placed second in the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta 2024].

With a market cap of over US$197 billion [$321b], Alibaba Group was founded by Ma in 1999 and specialises in e-commerce, retail, cloud computing, and digital payments. Ma, with a net worth believed to be around US$25b, he is the richest businessman in China and now spends less time in the public eye, rarely making public appearances.

“ShareBoating was proud to provide Ma with the full charter experience, planning, arranging, and hosting all of his water activities for the day,” Wayne Huang said,

“This was a great opportunity to promote the City of Sails as an ideal destination for high valued international tourism, particularly from Asia.”

Huang said Ma is avoiding media attention “as this is his family’s 100 per cent Chinese New Year private holiday in New Zealand”.

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