Alibaba founder and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma have reportedly missing for over two months after he delivered a controversial address in October 2020. Jack Ma did not arrive for the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes in November. Ma was superseded by Lucy Peng, an Alibaba manager, to evaluate the show. His photo was also drawn from the program’s judging committee webpage. An Alibaba mouthpiece told that Jack Ma was incompetent to follow the final episode of the show as a judge due to an organized time battle.
Jack Ma, in a speech on October 24, China’s “pawnshop financial regulators and state-owned banks.” He also called for a reform of China’s regulation system for stifling business innovation and likened global banking regulations to 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,” Ma voiced in the address. According to The Wall Street Journal, officers in Beijing wrapped down Ma and suspended the $37billion initial public offering of his Ant Group on the direct mandate of President Xi in November.
Ma was instructed to stay in China after which an anti-monopoly inquiry was established into Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding on Christmas Eve. Beijing also demanded Ma’s financial tech company Ant Group scale back its operations. The anti-monopoly investigation caused Alibaba’s shares to decline by a quarter since their height shortly after the October speech, dabbing more than $10billion from Ma’s fortune. This resulted in Jack Ma landing in the third rank on the list of China’s wealthiest people after Pinduoduo chief executive Colin Huang and Tencent Holdings’ Pony Ma Huateng. Ma now has an assessed existing net worth of $63.1billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
After the speech, regulators have encountered managers from Ant and ordered it to enhance its corporate governance, its adherence with the ordinance, and its practice of utilizing its scope to drive opponents out of the market. Reports assume that Ma’s speech enraged the Chinese government, which considered his criticisms as an invasion of the power of the Communist Party. Ma’s business empire, Ant Group, has been under scrutiny by Beijing ever since the address. Jack Ma was entangled in a charity job and has contributed millions of face masks to Europe, the US, and the World Health Organisation in the background of coronavirus. He also contributed 2000 ventilators to New York hospitals.