One of China’s most famous and powerful billionaires has been absent from public life for two months – and the disappearance of Jack Ma is already raising speculation in the country. The businessman is the founder of the giant Alibaba, which includes ventures such as Aliexpress, and the investment group Ant Group.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Ma has not been seen publicly for some time and was replaced “by scheduling conflicts” in November by another executive as a judge on Africa’s Business Heroes, a mix of reality show and contest held by the businessman. He also stopped posting content on previously active social networks, such as his Twitter profile – the last post on his personal profile dates back to October 2020.
It is speculated that the billionaire’s absence from events or publications on the network would be a kind of holiday in his image exhibition, as a way to wait for the dust to settle in relation to recent events involving his companies. However, the lack of updates on Ma’s whereabouts has started to worry some vehicles.
There are no explanations for Ma’s disappearance, but the businessman’s silence in public may have to do with recent controversies surrounding his ventures. By the end of 2020, Ant Financial was ready to make the largest public offering of shares in the history of the country. However, the process has been postponed by the government and the billionaire’s business is now being investigated for monopoly practices, with guidelines for “reducing operations”.
The crisis would have started in late October, when Ma criticized during a lecture the format of the country’s regulatory system and the lack of opportunity for young entrepreneurs.