Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma have reportedly ‘disappeared’ from the public eye for at least two months after he came into conflict with President Xi Jinping-led Central Communist Party government and this has led to speculations whether the business tycoon is missing or just avoiding the public.
Ma was scheduled to appear for the filming of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, however, he did not even turn up for it and was replaced by another Alibaba executive.
Speaking to Financial Times, the Chinese e-commerce giant said that Ma couldn’t appear on the show due to a conflict in schedules.
A spokesperson for Alibaba was quoted as saying that “due to a schedule conflict Mr. Ma could no longer be part of the finale judge panel of Africa’s Business Heroes earlier this year (2020).”
“His photograph was removed from the judging webpage, and he was conspicuously left out of a promotional video.
“Ma was dressed down by officials in Beijing and the $37 billion initial public offerings of his company Ant Group was suspended. He has not been seen in public since,” the Financial Times report said.
Last month, as China’s top market watchdog, began an investigation into alleged anti-competition practices by the e-commerce giant Alibaba, the country also laid out a ‘rectification plan’ for Ma’s fintech venture Ant Group.