Several independent media sources reported Jack Ma's suspected missing after the founder of Chinese online retailer Alibaba and one of the world's richest men hadn't been seen publicly in more than two months.
According to Yahoo Finance, Jack Ma didn't appear on the jury in the final episode of his own talent show, Africa's Business Heroes, which gives budding African entrepreneurs the chance to compete for $1,5 million. As a judge, he was replaced by a top manager of Alibaba. Jack Ma's photo was completely removed from the corresponding page of the jury on the official website of the competition. Alibaba spokesman said Jack Ma could no longer participate in the competition due to high employment in other projects.
Jack Ma's business empire, the Ant Group, has been under scrutiny from Beijing since his October 24 speech in Shanghai, where he openly criticized the country's financial policies for holding back innovation and compared banks to pawnshops.
A week later, the Chinese authorities suspended the previously sanctioned listing of Ant Group, when the company was preparing for the largest IPO in the world, planning to raise more than $35 billion with entry to two exchanges (Shanghai and Hong Kong) and increasing the valuation to $315 billion in the future. At the same time, the Chinese regulator opened an antitrust investigation against Alibaba. Since then, Jack Ma has not appeared in public or made any public statements.
Ma's last tweet dates back to October 10 last year: