The co-founder of Alibaba has fallen out of favor with Beijing, but analysts are wary of drawing conclusions.
Speculation is mounting about the whereabouts of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, who for more than two months has not been seen or heard from in public. Ma, co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba, a technology firm, has fallen out of favor with the leadership of China.
He and senior officials gave a frank speech in late October condemning national regulators, which allegedly irritated President Xi Jinping of China. In the months that followed, regulators summoned Ma and other managers for questioning and halted his venture, Ant Group, the world’s largest stock offering. Later, they conducted anti-monopoly inquiries into Alibaba and its key competitor, TenCent, and called for questioning by the Ant Party.
Regulators ordered Ma to downsize his empire in late December. ‘Jack Ma is tamed’: How Beijing showed the tech entrepreneur who is bossRead more During the scandals, Ma was not heard from. His last public appearance appears to have been at the opening ceremony for China’s annual Double 11 shopping event at a livestreamed event on Oct. 31.
In November, for the final episode of the business game show Africa’s Business Heroes, which Alibaba has since attributed to a scheduling dispute, he reportedly did not appear in his role as a judge.
Another Alibaba executive replaced Ma and his photo was deleted from the website. He also did not appear at the Shanghai Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce meeting this year, where he has been speaking every year since 2016. Bloomberg confirmed that Ma was warned not to leave the country in early December.
Weibo was censored with the hashtag “Ma Yun banned from leaving China” referring to Ma’s Chinese name, but his name was not officially mentioned in a national database of people subject to such bans. With so little verified knowledge, analysts are cautious in drawing any conclusions.
BBC cited an Alibaba employee as saying Ma sometimes takes time off before Chinese New Year, in February.Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Center for International Economics, told Vice he would expect Ma to maintain a low profile. Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China’s Beijing-based tech consultancy, agreed that Ma is likely to avoid ads. “Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA China, agreed that Ma is likely to avoid publicity. ” Since then, the CCP has made it a priority to clamp down on monopoly practices. China orders Alibaba founder Jack Ma to downsize his fintech empireContinue ReadingA People’s Daily editorial reappeared when regulators stopped Ant Group’s IPO, saying “There is no so-called era of Ma Yun, only Ma Yun as part of the era. “Ma is not the first Chinese tycoon to face a government crackdown.
After writing an essay questioning China’s covid response and seeming to brand Xi a clown, real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang vanished in March.
He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption in September. Bill Bishop, author of the China-focused Sinocism newsletter, wrote that with Ma, “the party has once again reminded all private entrepreneurs that no matter how rich and successful you are, it can pull the rug out from under you at any time. “Alibaba’s shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange dropped on Monday by 2.15 percent.