Jack Ma, one of China’s richest people and business magnate, has reportedly gone missing. Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group, a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. He has not made a public appearance in the last two months while missing the final episode of a TV show on which he was to appear as a judge. It has compelled people to speculate as to where has Ma been. The Chinese business mogul is known for his bold statements and has been vocal in his criticism of the Chinese government and its regulatory clampdown on his ever-expanding business empire. Surprisingly, Ma was seen last time in Shanghai in late October where he bluntly criticized censorship and regulatory system in China that reportedly put him in conflict with Xi Jinping – led Central Communist party government. It also resulted in the suspension of a $37 billion IPO of Alibaba’s Ant Group fintech arm. Ma incurred a loss of $3 billion due to this. Even though the news coverage of Ma’s reported absence has triggered speculations on Twitter and other social media platforms, it has failed to become a trending topic on social media in China owing to the country’s strict censorship system. Many of the social media platforms, including Twitter, are blocked in China. Commenting on the situation, Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA China, ‘‘I think he’s been told to lay low.’’ He further added, ‘‘This is a pretty unique situation, more linked to the sheer scale of Ant and the sensitivities over financial regulation.’’ Since the news of Jack Ma’s absence broke out, Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell 2.15 percent on Monday.
Author: Sheihryar Asif