Jack ma has not been seen since last three months in public after he criticized chineese regulators.
Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.
At the Bund Summit in Shanghai on 24 October, Ma criticised the lawmakers that enforce global financial regulations, the Basel Accords, saying they were like "an old people’s club".
According to The Times, Ma, a Communist Party member, said: "The Basel Accords are like an old people’s club, we can’t use yesterday’s methods to regulate the future".
The billionaire said the Basel Accords framework stifled opportunities for young people and developing nations, and that regulatory rules suppressed innovation. In late December, Chinese authorities launched an anti-monopoly investigation into Alibaba, and told Ant Group to restructure its operations.
Ma was then called in by regulators for investigation, and he's vanished from the public eye ever since. It’s likely not a coincidence, the professor of finance at Hong Kong University, Chen Zhiwu, told the Financial Times.
"The fintech clean-up considerations would not have been an issue [for the authorities]."But everything changed after the speech... Xinhua News agency publicly attacked Ma," he said.
Has this happened before?
Yes. Ma is not the only Chinese businessman to disappear from the public eye after battling with regulators.
In 2020, Xu Zhangrun, a law professor, and Zhang Xuehzong, a human rights lawyer, were reportedly arrested over criticising the Communist Party for its response to the pandemic.
Retired real-estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang also reportedly disappeared for criticising the Communist Party’s COVID response, and was later sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Is Jack Ma really missing?
Ma has been out of public view since November, when he failed to make an appearance at his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes. Ma was supposed to be on the judging panel, but was replaced by an Alibaba executive in the final. His picture was also removed from the website.
The billionaire’s last tweet was on 10 October in 2020.
I am honored to partner with HRH The Duke of Cambridge @KensingtonRoyal & other global leaders and organizations to support the @EarthshotPrize and tackle the environmental challenges we all face. Together, we can protect our planet from climate change! https://t.co/0ax1imIZMC pic.twitter.com/EN6yissNGI— Jack Ma (@JackMa) October 10, 2020