Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and founder of Alibaba, who is under the scanner of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has reportedly not been seen in public for several weeks. This has led to speculations that Ma could be missing. He also failed to appear as scheduled in the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, which gives budding African entrepreneurs the chance to compete for a slice of US $1.5 million. He last tweeted on 10 October last year.
UK’s Telegraph reported that Alibaba founder was supposed to be a part of the judging panel in November final but he was replaced by an Alibaba executive. Surprisingly, Jack Ma’s picture was also removed from the website. According to Financial Times, an Alibaba spokesperson said Ma failed to attend the final “due to a schedule conflict”. It is to be noted that Jack Ma’s huge business empire, Ant Group, has been under the scanner of Chinese government ever since the billionaire businessman delivered a speech on October 24 slamming China’s regulation system for stifling innovation. He had also called global banking rules an “old people’s club”. Jack Ma also complained that China’s regulators and state-run banks are hampering opportunities.
Jack Ma stepped down as the chairman of Alibaba in September 2019, 20 years after he founded the company. He handed over the role to the company’s CEO Daniel Zhang and announced at the time that he will continue on the board of the company until its annual general shareholders meeting in 2020.