Alibaba's Ma in Europe on study tour- SCMP

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Founder and Chairman of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Jack Ma gives a speech at Paris' high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech, in Paris, France May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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Oct 19 (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) founder Jack Ma is in Europe on a study tour, South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, making it the Chinese billionaire's first trip abroad in over a year.

Ma, who has largely been out of public view since a speech last year in which he publicly criticized China's regulatory system, is in Spain for a study tour on agriculture and technology related to environmental issues, the report said, citing a source familiar with Ma's schedule.

He was in Hong Kong spending "private time" with this family before flying to Europe, according to SCMP, which is owned by Alibaba.

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Alibaba was not immediately available for a comment.

Ma, a globe-trotter not known to shy away from the limelight, retired as Alibaba's chairman in 2019.

His empire came under heavy scrutiny by Chinese regulators following the speech, that even led to the suspension of Ant Group's $37 billion blockbuster IPO.

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Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru

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