New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and the founder of Alibaba, is suspected missing as he has not been seen in public for several weeks, The Telegraph reported. 

Jack Ma was to appear as a judge in the final episode of his own talent show, ‘Africa’s Business Heroes' but he did not turn up. Not only were his photos removed from the website but also Ma was replaced by another Alibaba executive.  

Financial Times quoted an Alibaba spokesperson saying that Jack filed to attend the event due to a "schedule conflict". The ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’ show gives budding African entrepreneurs the chance to compete for a slice of US $1.5 million.

Jack Ma's fintech venture Ant Group has been under the scanner of the Chinese government after the businessman delivered a speech in October in which he slammed China’s regulation system for stifling innovation. He had also called global banking rules an “old people’s club”.

“Mortgages and guarantees are for a pawnshop, but if we go to extremes in relying solely on collateral assets, certain enterprises will pledge all of their assets, and the pressure [for them] is enormous,” he had said in October, 2020.

According to a report in TechCrunch, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, "summoned Ant Group for regulatory talks on December 26th, announcing a sweeping plan for the fintech firm to 'rectify' its regulatory violations".

Upset with the speech, the Chinese government viewed Ma's criticisms as an attack on the authority of the Communist Party, and led to its extraordinary clampdown on Ma's business activities.

In November last year, Ma was reprimanded by officials in Beijing who suspended the blockbuster $37billion initial public offering of his Ant Group on the direct order of President Jinping, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta