Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/where-is-jack-ma-business-tycoon-mia-since-october-name-removed-from-talent-show-website/articleshow/80092653.cmsChinese billionaire Jack Ma has been missing in action. The Alibaba founder has reportedly not been seen in public since October, the same time when he had hit out at the ruling Communist regime in China.
Speculation peaked recently after the 56-year-old founder also failed to appear in the final episode of his own talent show, ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’. The show is aimed at giving budding African entrepreneurs a space to compete for a US $1.5 million prize.
The Financial Times reported that he was replaced as a judge in the show’s finale, and his picture was also removed from the webpage. It also added that a promotional video, sans Ma, was aired.
Ma was apparently replaced by an Alibaba executive in the November final. The Financial Times quoted an Alibaba spokesperson as saying that Ma was unable to take part on the judging panel “due to a schedule conflict”.
I am honored to partner with HRH The Duke of Cambridge @KensingtonRoyal & other global leaders and organizations to… https://t.co/CoFwaV8oAb— Jack Ma (@JackMa) 1602320818000
Ma, who has over 612K followers on Twitter, last posted on the micro-blogging platform on October 10. In his tweet, he spoke of his partnership with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and Kate – and their association with the Earthshot Prize that fetes climate change warriors.
Ma’s fintech venture, Ant Group, has come under scrutiny by Beijing ever since he delivered a controversial speech in Shanghai on October 24. In his speech, he had criticised China’s regulation system for curbing innovation and compared global banking rules to an “old people’s club”.
“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age,” Ma was quoted as saying in the speech.
“We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system.”
In December, China’s top market watchdog began investigation into alleged anti-competition practices by Alibaba. Local media also reported that the country has now laid out ‘rectification plan for his fintech venture Ant Group.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, “summoned Ant Group for regulatory talks on December 26th, announcing a sweeping plan for the fintech firm to ‘rectify’ its regulatory violations”.
In India, Alibaba’s investments include payments firm Paytm and its e-commerce arm Paytm Mall, food delivery start-up Zomato, online grocer BigBasket, online retailer Snapdeal and logistics firm Xpressbees.