It is more than eight weeks since Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma has made a public appearance. Speculation is rife about where the founder of the Alibaba and Ant group may be. Scheduled appearances have been missed. His flagship and new companies have also been facing scrutiny and restrictions by the Chinese government.
Jack Ma was scheduled to appear in the final episode of his talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, as a judge, in November. However, he failed to appear and was replaced by an Alibaba executive according to a report by The Telegraph. The Financial Times reported that a spokesperson said that Ma could not be part of the final panel of judges “due to a schedule conflict.”
On October 24, 2020, Jack Ma delivered a speech calling for reforms and the influx of new blood into the existing systems. Within ten days, the Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended an IPO of his company Ant due to “changes in financial technology regulatory environment.”
Mark Mobius, an experienced American investor, said that the Chinese government had stepped in to “regulate these companies” to prevent them from becoming big conglomerates. The government began anti-monopoly investigations into Jack Ma led Alibaba and notified the Ant Group to restructure operations.
Jack Ma had tweeted on October 10, 2020. After this tweet, there has been complete silence from him on all social media platforms. He has not made a personal appearance. Considering the problems he and his companies have faced these past few months, there is some speculation and some anxiety about his whereabouts.