Last Updated on 2021/01/05
Where is Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba? China’s best-known entrepreneur, e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, has not been seen in public since he angered regulators with a speech in October.
Speculation is mounting over the whereabouts of the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, who has not been seen in public for more than two months.
Jack Ma, the co-founder and former CEO of tech giant Alibaba had fallen out of favor with the Beijing government in October when he criticized national regulators, infuriating Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In the months that followed, authorities had summoned Ma and other company executives and blocked what would have been the world’s largest stock offering of his company, Ant Group.
After launching anti-monopoly investigations into Alibaba and Tencent, its main competitor in China, regulators had ordered Ma to downsize Jack Ma’s empire.
Jack Ma’s last public appearance was on October 31, at the opening ceremony of China’s annual Double 11 shopping event.
In November, he had not participated as a judge in the final episode of a reality show called Africa’s Business Heroes.
Ma had been replaced by another Alibaba executive, and his photo had disappeared from the site.
Jack Ma also did not attend the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce meeting, where he has always given a speech in recent years.
According to Bloomberg Ma was warned by the authorities not to leave the country in early December.
Analysts and observers remain rather cautious in formulating hypotheses, in the absence of certain information.
In any case, the crackdowns on Ma’s activities have all been interpreted as China’s government reining in a businessman who was overstepping the mark, having become internationally renowned, someone who was not afraid to criticize the highest authorities of the Chinese Communist Party.
For this reason, the CCP remains quite active in repressing the monopolistic practices of some Chinese giants, which have obviously grown too fast, and become too powerful.
In 2018, Wu Xiaohui, an insurance tycoon who founded the insurance company Anbang, was sentenced for fraud and abuse of power to 18 years in prison. In March, real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang disappeared after writing an essay critical of China’s response to Covid and appearing to call Xi a clown. In September, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption.