Jack Ma’s disappearance has fueled speculation that he is being arrested or placed under house arrest. China has a history of not revealing information about arrests of big names, so under ‘supervision’, it could well mean jail.
After reports that China’s most famous billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has been missing in action for weeks, it has come to light that he is “embracing oversight.” This has fueled speculation that one of the richest men in the world, Ma, is arrested or placed under house arrest. China has a history of not disclosing information on arrests of prominent figures, so “adopting supervision” could well mean jail time.
Coinciding with his disappearance is the Chinese state media’s heated online rage against Ma, which has suddenly escalated. After Ma’s recent feud with China’s authoritarian regime over regulatory issues, Chinese media have desperately tried to change his image from “Uncle Horse” (Ma in Chinese means horse) “to a cruel” vampire “businessman. and he appropriates money.He is to be portrayed as the one who loves to exploit the poor in various government-inclined media.
Jack Ma is “embracing oversight,” the Hong Kong-based daily The Asia Times said, citing Chinese Communist Party spokesman People’s Daily. He has been ordered not to leave the country. The People’s Daily in a November article also said that Ma could not take Alibaba to such heights without the policies of the Chinese government: “Ma Yun is smart, but without the support of national policies, Ali will not be able to become a business empire. of a trillion dollars. “
Ma has not made any public appearances since November 2020, which has surprised his whereabouts. He didn’t even appear in the final episode of his own talent show, ‘Africa’s Business Heroes,’ which gives budding African entrepreneurs a chance to compete to win $ 1.5 million.
Ma’s “horse” fell after Ma criticized China’s regulatory system in October 2020, saying he has a “pawn shop mentality” and that a company like AliPay was not suited to a financial regulatory structure like China’s. China Calling for reform in the country’s regulatory system, Jack Ma blamed him for stifling business innovation and compared China’s global banking regulations to an “old man’s club.”
Coincidentally, it happened just days before his company Ant Group was about to launch one of the world’s largest IPOs worth $ 37 billion in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The Chinese authorities, unhappy at his tirade against them, reportedly disconnected citing Alibaba’s enormous growth and launched an ‘antitrust’ investigation against his company.
Another Chinese billionaire, Liu Qiangdong of JD.com, has also been under the “supervision” of the Chinese government. Chinese regulators have increased scrutiny on the Qiangdong-led company, whose digital company JD Digital is looking to go public in the future.
Meanwhile, the investigation has led to a drop in Alibaba shares by a quarter from its peak, erasing more than $ 10 billion of its fortune. This brought him down to third place on the list of the richest people in China. Ma’s current net worth is estimated at $ 63.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.