Several people have reacted to the noticeable disappearance of Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba and Ant Group, from public life few months, after he openly criticised the Chinese government. The alarm was raised after Ma was missing from his own reality television show Africa’s Business Heroes, and replaced with another Alibaba executive.
Some compared his disappearance to a situation where Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, goes missing because of he did not agree with certain policies made in the United States.
Melissa Chan, a reporter for DW news wrote, “Can we just admit this Jack Ma thing is like, really weird? This is the equivalent of Jeff Bezos disappearing because he’s not in good graces of the White House and everyone will try their best to pretend this is all normal.”
“Even the richest person in China is not safe,” said Robert Elekes.
Another tweep said, “Jack Ma is not ‘disappeared’ and Alibaba has not broken up or nationalised. Ma is laying low and Alipay (Ant) is being regulated to be more in compliance with national standards in China.”
China’s People Daily published an article which was titled ‘There Will Be No Jack Ma Era’ and suggested in the article that his predicament was likely to be related to the deeper financial issues of Alipay or Ant Group which he founded 20 years ago. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reported that Ma was now ’embracing supervision’.
In October, the businessman criticised the policymakers behind the international financial regulations, calling the existing framework an outdated rulebook in the 21st century, at a conference in Shangai. He also said the policymakers were “an old people’s club”.