It’s generally always a shock when someone is reported to be missing.
Because let’s face it, people don’t usually just vanish without something serious happening.
And if regular folk disappearing can be noticed, you bet that a famous figure like Jack Ma would draw some attention.
Jack Ma Was Previously Reported As Missing
For those unaware, the Alibaba founder was touted as ‘missing’ for two months.
And there were some very glaring signs as well.
He didn’t appear in the final episode of Africa’s Business Heroes, his own talent production show.
The programme grants up-and-coming African entrepreneurs a chance to procure part of a US $1.5 million grand prize.
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Apparently, Ma was supposed to be present for judging, but he was ultimately replaced by an Alibaba executive.
Following that, his picture was removed from the website, further raising suspicions.
The Financial Times reported it as a “schedule conflict” but people still weren’t convinced
Around this time, a few then pointed to another incident that might have contributed to this vanishing act.
Namely, his speech in Shanghai back on 24 Oct 2020.
Consequences of His Speech
In it, Ma spoke against China’s regulation system.
He called for a new one that would cater to the new generation and young people, stating that it was currently outdated.
“We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system.”
Then, a mere week after the speech, his business empire, Ant Group, had its IPO suspended.
According to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Ant had reported “significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment.”
And while Ma reportedly tried to appease the Chinese government, it was not met with success.
A veteran US investor told CNBC the following: “The Chinese government is waking up to the fact that they cannot allow these companies that dominate a particular sector and particularly the financial sector.”
And in late December, Chinese authorities launched an anti-monopoly investigation into Alibaba.
Ant Group was also told to reform its operations.
Suffice to say, people started to conjure up stories about Ma’s whereabouts.
But it appears that he might not have been missing after all.
In the last few days, however, a source of Ma’s whereabouts have surfaced. On 5 Jan, CNBC’s anchor David Faber reported on his status.
Namely, that he was supposedly “laying low” as opposed to being actually missing.
The anchor, who has covered Ma several times on the news, mentioned that Alibaba’s founder would likely remain this way “for some time”.
Faber said that he would also likely be in Hangzhou, where the company’s headquarters are located.
“He hasn’t been captured, he hasn’t been taken,” he told CNBC on Tuesday.
It has also been speculated that Ma was told to lay low after the huge spark his speech in October ignited.
Faber states that while he feels Alibaba as a company could still grow, they are “going to be prevented from pulling on some important levers” for their growth.
Featured Image: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com
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