Jack Ma, one of China’s most successful businessmen who founded Alibaba, remains AWOL following a failed initial public offering (IPO) launch of Ant Group (formerly Ant Financial) last Fall according to NPR.
Ant is a spin-off of Alibaba, which allows users to transfer money via a cellphone and a QR code. In October last year, Ma gave an attention-grabbing speech at the Bund Finance Summit in Shanghai, a who’s who gathering of China’s most powerful regulators and business people.
Duncan Clark, an expert Chinese tech investor familiar with Ma’s business told NPR that Ma’s speech at the Bund summit was notable in the sense that it challenged Chinese financial regulators, arguing that their methods were ‘anachronistic’ and revolution in the financial sector was looming.
Shortly after the summit, Ma’s highly anticipated Ant IPO was placed on hold. The hold would then evolve into an investigation by Chinese authorities. As of this moment the IPO’s status is unknown as the Chinese government has remained tight lipped about its investigation into Ant.
Many are speculating that Jack Ma was murdered
Although people have begun to suggest Ma was murdered by the CCP, the claim remains unsubstantiated. Others like Clark have suggested Ma is currently laying low to avoid antagonizing Xi.
“I think they just basically they want him back in his box. One wonders if there’s some degree of jealousy or irritation for President Xi or the government in general, that this, you know, rather uncontrollable figure is popping up in different places around the world,” Clark explained.
It is unknown at this time as to when Ma will reappear in the public eye, if at all. China’s methods of disappearing dissidents is well documented.
That said, Ma is a high profile individual with a large global audience, making his disappearance more impactful.
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