Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma suddenly disappeared from public view after criticizing the Chinese government. Many are asking where is the popular and outspoken tech billionaire?
During a speech in Shanghai in October, Mr. Ma slammed the ‘”pawnshop mentality” of China’s state-owned banks. He compared the country’s global financial regulators to the “old people’s club,” which he believes is stifling innovation.
Mr. Ma’s speech drew the ire of China’s government officials, which considered it an attack on the authority of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since then, the Chinese government went after his companies.
The Wall Street Journal reported that President Xi Jinping personally ordered the suspension of the initial public offering (IPO) of Ant Financial, which was expected to be the biggest public offering. The IPO could have valued Mr. Ma’s financial company at $300 billion.
The Chinese government also opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba. Both the IPO suspension and the Alibaba antitrust probe resulted in a $12 billion decline of Mr. Ma’s fortune to $50.9 billion from around $62 billion in October 2020.