Jack Ma

Jack Ma’s absence from the public eye raises speculations

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The 56-year-old billionaire founder of Alibaba and Ant Group, Jack Ma, is reportedly not seen or heard of anywhere in more than two months. As of Monday, Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba fell to 2.15%. 

Alibaba—the Amazon of China

It has been speculated that Ma has been in the spotlight recently because the business market of China cracked down on his empire. The country’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba is under an antitrust investigation. During November, China has introduced regulations that in-turn halted a massive initial public offering for Ant Group. This group is regarded as Ma’s fintech company.

Ma criticized China’s financial regulatory system during a conference conducted in Shanghai that further led to the alteration of the rules. It is reported that Ma has declined the global financial regulations used by China and stated, “We can’t use yesterday’s methods to regulate the future.”

The CEO of the debt-financing startup Capital, Blair Silverberg, asserted the inclusion of these regulations was done in a way to assert the government’s supremacy over Jack Ma. 

Jack’s absence from the television contest

Apart from this, Ma was supposed to appear in the November season finale of the entrepreneurial television contest. He is currently ranked 25 in Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index and his estimated net worth is more than $50bn.  However, in his absence, he was replaced by an Executive of Alibaba, Lucy Peng. The reason for his absence from the judging panel was given to be “due to a scheduling conflict.” 

Is Alipay in a fix?

The Chinese government is known to warn Alipay— China’s largest digital payment platform to scale back its operations. This step was taken because the company’s corporate governance was “not sound.” 

Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA China, declared, “I think he’s been told to lay low. This is a pretty unique situation, more linked to the sheer scale of Ant and the sensitivities over financial regulation.”

Related: Alibaba with NTU unveils talent program to aid future computer scientist



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