Chinese billionaire and founder of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has been reported missing after he openly criticized China’s regulators and its state-owned banks, accusing them of slowing down innovation.
Jack Ma has not been spotted in public for the last two months and was also missing from the finale episode of his own talent show titled Africa’s Business Heroes.
Concerns rose after the businessman delivered a controversial speech in Shanghai on October 24 in which he called the Chinese banking rules and process to be similar to that of an “old people’s club”.
“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age, We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system,” he said in his speech.
Since his controversial speech, Jack Ma’s business empire, Ant Group, has been under strict scrutiny by Beijing officials. A $37 billion public offering was also canceled after his bold stand against China’s banking system.
The billionaire was scheduled to appear as a judge in the final episode of his own talent show, ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’, but mysteriously did not turn up for it and as a consequence, his photographs were removed from the show’s website which has raised more concerns about his safety.
However, a spokesperson from the Alibaba Group has rubbished all reports and has claimed he is not missing but simply had scheduling issues.
“Due to a schedule conflict Mr. Ma could no longer be part of the finale judge panel of Africa’s Business Heroes earlier this year (2020),” he said.
Reportedly, Ma, who is known for his bold controversial statements which always seem to be in conflict with President Xi Jinping-led Central Communist Party government.
Ma’s criticism was perceived as an attack on the authority of the Communist Party and led to its extraordinary clampdown on Ma’s business activities.
Jack is a former English and co-founder of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses. … In September 2019, Jack Ma stepped down as Alibaba’s executive chairman and was succeeded by CEO Yong Zhang, also known as Daniel Zhang.
Ma is one of China’s richest men and his work to the UN and global charity activities in recent years have brought a softer edge to China’s global image.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited, also known as Alibaba Group and as Alibaba.com, is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology.