China’s richest person and renowned Technology billionaire and the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has disappeared from the public eye for over two months after he came into conflict with President Xi Jinping-led Central Communist Party government of China.
Jack Ma was supposed to appear as a judge in the final episode of his own talent show, ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’, but mysteriously did not turn up for it and as a consequence, his photographs were removed from the show’s website as well.
Theis ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’ show is a healthy competition that gives new African entrepreneurs the chance to compete to get the funding of US $1.5 million from Alibaba group.
Jack Ma, who is known for putting forth his views in the public domain, many times has been labeled as an outspoken person as well. Ma did criticize the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) government’s ‘pawnshop’ financial regulators and state-owned banks in an incendiary speech in Shanghai back in October. He also called for reform of a system that ‘stifled business innovation’, he likened global banking regulations to an ‘old people’s club’.
As expected, this speech angered the Chinese government, which viewed Ma’s criticisms as an attack on the authority of the Communist Party regime, and led to its extraordinary clampdown on Ma’s business activities.
In November, officials in Beijing reprimanded Ma and suspended the blockbuster $37billion initial public offering of his Ant Group on the direct order of President Jinping, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Ma was then advised to remain in China before launching an anti-monopoly investigation into his Alibaba Group Holding on Christmas Eve, according to Bloomberg. Beijing also ordered Ma’s financial tech company Ant Group to scale back its operations.
Ma is one of China’s wealthiest men and his work for the UN and global charity activities in recent years has brought a softer edge to China’s global image. But this incident also establishes a fact that the Communist regime doesn’t like free voice, it doesn’t matter what Jack Ma’s contribution to China, but the moment he spoke against CCP, he is gone.