Chinese billionaire Ma Yun (马云) or Jack Ma has not made a public appearance in more than two months, sparking speculation of his whereabouts.
He was initially scheduled to appear as a judge on the final episode of his talent show, “Africa’s Business Heroes”.
However, in the November final, his role was replaced by an Alibaba executive, as reported by UK Daily Telegraph. Ma’s picture was also removed from the website. According to the Financial Times, an Alibaba spokesman said the replacement was “due to a schedule conflict”.
On 24th October, Ma delivered a controversial speech in Shanghai that criticised China’s regulation system stifling innovation and likened global banking rules to an “old people’s club”, leading to his business empire, Ant Group, being scrutinised by Beijing.
In his speech, Ma suggested reforming the current system, as he claimed it was a legacy of the Industrial Age. A week later, the Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended Ant’s US$37 billion public offering stating that Ant reported “significant issues”.
US veteran investor, Mark Mobius told CNBC that this was done to regulate financial institutions from getting too big. “The Chinese government is waking up to the fact that they cannot allow these companies to dominate a particular sector and particularly the financial sector,” he said.
Chinese authorities told Ant Group to restructure its operations and launch an anti-monopoly investigation into Alibaba in late December.
Ma’s last tweet was on 10th October 2020.
Source: The Edge.