Reports of Chinese business tycoon Jack Ma “missing” for nearly two months have triggered a plethora of reactions online, with netizens wondering about the whereabouts of the co-founder of Alibaba Group.
The 56-year-old, whose companies have been subjected to a crackdown from Chinese regulators, has also been absent on social media, with the last Twitter post on October 10. Jack Ma also did not turn up for the final episode of a TV show “Africa’s Business Heroes’ on which he was to appear as a judge and was subsequently replaced. His photograph was removed from the show’s official webpage. However, Alibaba Group has clarified that Ma did not appear on the show because of a scheduling conflict.”
Following reports of Jack Ma’s disappearance, many took to social media, questioning his whereabouts.
This is particularly suspicious since right before he went missing, he was reportedly in direct conflict with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s led ruling communist government.
He was last supposed to make an appearance as a judge in the final episode; of his own talent show, “Africa’s Business Heroes’, but did not show up, this resulted; in all his photographs being removed from the show’s website, The Telegraph, UK, reported.
The Chinese tycoon came into conflict with the Chinese government; after giving a speech in Shanghai back in October, last year.
Calling for reform in the system that “stifled business innovation”, he was critical of the global banking regulations; and compared them to an “old people’s club”.
This speech reportedly angered the Chinese government, as it was perceived; as an attack on the authority of the Communist Party. This even led to its extraordinary crackdown on Ma’s business engagements.
The Chinese government even went ahead to suspend Ma’s $37 billion; initial public offerings of his Ant Group on the direct order of President Jinping, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In a turn of events, Jack Ma was strongly advised to stay in China before he launched into his Alibaba Group Holding on Christmas Eve, according to Bloomberg.
In fact, Ma’s fintech company Ant Group has been asked to scale back its operations too. Despite being one of the wealthiest men in China who had done significant work for; the UN and global charity activities that brought; a softer image to China’s global image, it seems he’s not immune to the Chinese state’s brutal crackdown.