Beijing, January 4
Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s absence from public view in the past two months, including missing the final episode of a TV show on which he was to appear as a judge, has fueled social media speculation over his whereabouts amid a Chinese regulatory clampdown on his sprawling business empire. Social media is abuzz with related comments.
Recently, he flayed China’s regulatory system, putting him on a collision course and resulting in the suspension of a $37 billion IPO of Alibaba’s Ant Group fintech arm.
Reports said he was replaced as a judge in the final episode of a game show. “I think he’s been told to lay low,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA China. — Reuters