Jack Ma has been under constant scrutiny lately. Alibaba is being investigated for monopolistic practices. Then Ant Group got told to return to just providing payment services and drop everything else. Now, there are reports that the founder of both companies have gone missing.
The Financial Times reports that Ma has been scrubbed from his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes. In it, he made regular appearances as one of the judges, but failed to show up in the final episode for 2020, aired in November.
Not only did he not make an appearance, but his picture was also removed from the judging website. In his place is the co-founder of Alibaba, Lucy Peng. An Alibaba spokesperson said that Ma could not be there “due to a schedule conflict”.
It all began back in October when Ma made a comment critical of China’s banking system. The initial public offering of Ant Group that came weeks later got shot down. And then came the monopoly investigation into Alibaba and the situation with Ant Group’s business model.
Incidentally, October was also the last time Jack Ma was seen in public. Prior reports also claim that he was told by government officials to remain in the country.