Sometimes Rupert uses his influence to get messages across to government in a roundabout way.
In late 2018, he was in London finalising a deal that would see Richemont become a supplier of luxury goods to Chinese online retail giant Alibaba – a massive coup for a company battling it out with rival LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton (the world's largest luxury-goods company) for prime position in that lucrative market. After concluding the details with presumptive Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, he flew to China for the official announcement and met with Jack Ma, the legendary Alibaba founder, who told him of his invitation by Ramaphosa to speak at the South African government's investment summit.
'What would be your advice?' Ma asked the South African.