Billionaire and one of the most famous personalities in China, Jack Ma has not appeared in public for two months. The disappearance was preceded by a scandal of Jack Ma’s criticism of China’s financial and economic system and a call for its reform, followed by the suspension of the potentially largest IPO in the world, Ant Group, founded by Ma.
Rumors of the alleged disappearance of Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma have intensified in recent weeks as, amid a prolonged public absence, the billionaire did not participate in the final episode of his Business Heroes of Africa show, a competition for African entrepreneurs with a prize $ 1.5 million
Jack Ma’s disappearance came immediately after the founder of China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba, and its subsidiary financial company Ant Group, criticized the country’s government at a forum in Shanghai in late October.
Ma said that China’s banking system was outdated and called for the abandonment of the “lombard thinking of banks.” Ma’s quoted words in the media included, “Today’s financial system is the legacy of the industrial age. We must create a new system for the next generation and youth. We must reform the current system. “
After that, regulators suspended Ant Group’s IPO, launching an antitrust investigation against the company. Marketinfo.pro wrote about this in the article “Alibaba shares fell 8% after Ant Group’s record IPO was suspended.”
Since the announcement on November 2 of the suspension of the IPO of Ant Group, which is 33% owned by Alibaba, Alibaba shares have dropped 26.7%, cutting 2020 growth to 5%.
Although Jack Ma officially resigned from Alibaba in 2019 and did not hold any positions at Ant Group, he has a significant impact on public opinion in China.
Some media outlets write that it was due to regulatory pressure that Ma had to “retire” at the company, and the current disappearance may be related to the arrest.
Prior to this incident, in China, where the influence of the Communist Party and the government is strong, prominent businessmen and company directors had disappeared for several years.
The latest incident occurred last March when Ren Zhiqiang, the former chief executive of state-owned property developer Huayuan Real Estate Group, was reported missing after writing an essay in which he called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “clown.” In fact, Zhiqiang was arrested and later convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison on corruption charges.
Alibaba has yet to comment on Jack Ma’s disappearance.
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