Saturday, January 2, 2021

BILLIONAIRE VANISHES Mystery as Chinese billionaire Jack Ma disappears from his own reality show after criticising regime

The 56-year-old made his fortune after creating Alibaba, dubbed Asia's Amazon, and was once a favourite of the communist regime.

However, the former English teacher was suddenly replaced as a judge on the final of Africa’s Business Heroes, a Dragons' Den-style TV contest for budding entrepreneurs.

His photograph was then removed from the judging panel's webpage and he was later left out of a promotional video.

The father of three had earlier tweeted that he "couldn’t wait" to meet all the contestants.

A spokesperson for Alibaba said: “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.”

The final took place just weeks after Ma made a speech slamming China’s regulators and its state-owned banks.

Last month the authorities suddenly announced an anti-monopoly investigation into his company.

Ma is one of China’s wealthiest men and is also well known for his work with the UN and multiple global charities.

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic he has donated tens of millions of face masks across the world.

However, in recent weeks there has been no activity on his Twitter account - which usually carried several tweets a day.

But China has a no-nonsense approach to dealing with those that speak out against the regime.

In March, a property tycoon disappeared after he called President Xi Jinping a ‘clown’ for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. 

Friends of Ren Zhiqiang say he was later sentenced to 18 years in prison after he apparently "voluntarily confessed" to various crimes of corruption.

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