Jack Ma suspected missing; Questions arise after billionaire’s disappearance from his own talent show’
Jack Ma, the 56-year-old billionaire founder of Alibaba and Ant Group, hasn’t been seen publicly in more than two months, Jessica Yun reported for Yahoo Finance on Sunday.
Ma has been in the spotlight recently as China has cracked down on his business empire. In late December, Chinese regulators launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba, the country’s biggest e-commerce company, sometimes referred to as “the Amazon of China.” And in November, China introduced regulations that halted what would have been a massive initial public offering for Ant Group, Ma’s fintech company.
The new rules came weeks after Ma criticized China’s financial regulatory system at a conference in Shanghai. Ma reportedly dismissed the global financial regulations used by China as “an old people’s club” and said that “we can’t use yesterday’s methods to regulate the future.”
Blair Silverberg, the CEO of the debt-financing startup Capital, told Business Insider’s Katie Canales in November that the regulations were introduced “so the government can assert its supremacy over Jack Ma.”
In November, Ma was replaced as a judge on the African talent show he founded, “Africa’s Business Heroes,” the Financial Times reported. The talent show did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, but an Alibaba representative said Ma could no longer be on the judging panel for the show’s finale, which was filmed in November but has not yet been released,” due to a scheduling conflict.”
“We do not have anything to add beyond that,” the representative said in response to questions about Ma’s whereabouts.