Jack Ma Reportedly ‘Missing’ After Making a Controversial Speech in China


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It appears that every once in a while, a public figure would pull off a ‘disappearing act’ of sorts.

Sometime ago, it was the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, whose brief absence in public briefly led to avid rumours of his death.

Image: Alexander Khitrov / Shutterstock.com

Those speculations have since been quelled.

But it seems that another influential persona has fallen under the spotlight for the same ‘disappearing act’…

A notion made all the more unnerving considering the circumstances leading up to this point.

Jack Ma Reportedly ‘Missing’ As He’s Not Been in Public for 2 Months

According to Yahoo Finance AUChinese billionaire Jack Ma has not appeared in public for more than two months.

During this period of time, he also failed to appear in the final episode of his own show, Africa’s Business Heroes – a talent production which grants up-and-coming African entrepreneurs a chance to procure part of a US $1.5 million grand prize.

Apparently, Ma was supposed to be present for judging, but he was ultimately replaced by an Alibaba executive.

His picture was also removed from the website.

According to the Financial Timesthe reason given for his absence was a “schedule conflict”.

But netizens were evidently not having it.


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Despite the ‘alibi’, speculations have emerged around Ma’s exact whereabouts…

And why he has gone ‘missing’ at this particular juncture, mere months after that controversial speech in Shanghai – which reportedly criticised China’s regulation system.

Scrutiny

In the speech, which was delivered in Shanghai on 24 October 2020, Ma expressed his disapproval of China’s regulation system, and pronounced the need for a new one catering to the new generation and young people.

“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age,” Ma said in the speech.

“We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system.”

A mere week after, Ma’s 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”.

But US veteran investor Mark Mobius was not of the same opinion.

He claimed that the move was actually designed to restrict financial institutions, in this case Ant Group, from getting overly big.

“I believe the Chinese government stepped in because they realised that they had to regulate these companies, so that they don’t … get too big,” he told CNBC.


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“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.”

In late December, Chinese authorities launched an anti-monopoly investigation into Alibaba.

Ant Group was also told to reform its operations.

Twitter

It should be noted, too, that Ma’s last tweet was on 10 October 2020.

That’s nearly three whole months of absence from the social media platform.

However, this is not exactly news, considering how Ma’s tweets have a tendency to occur with weeks and even months in between.


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His second last tweet, for instance, occurred on 19 August 2020.

Prior to that, he tweeted about #CyberMulan on 15 July.

Reminiscent

This piece of news is certainly reminiscent of Kim Jong-un’s own absence during the first half of 2020.

With news abound that he was facing a life-threatening condition, media outlets even started reporting on possible successors to the throne, with his sister and older brother leading the line of ascension.

Three weeks after reports began churning out, however, Kim Jong-un showed up on state television to quash those rumours.


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As my colleague put it so aptly:

“Much like a magician, Kim Jung-un has reappeared out of nowhere, and he looks happier and chubbier than ever.”

Featured Image: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com