Where’s Jack Ma? Mystery about the founder of Alibaba | Digital Trends Spanish
The whereabouts of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has become one of the main unknowns of early 2021: two months ago he was last seen in public. Since then there has been no news of him.
Speculation has been fueled by his absence from the finale of a television show in which he would participate as a jury and coincide with the drastic measures of Chinese regulators to contain the expansion of its financial empire.
Ma was last seen in public in October 2020 at a public event in Shanghai, where he criticized China’s regulatory system. According to an agency report Reuters, Chinese regulators have since focused on Ma’s business.
His intervention resulted in the subsequent suspension of a $ 37 billion initial public offering by Grupo Ant, the arm fintech from Alibaba.
Measures imposed on the group include an antitrust investigation into Alibaba, and Ant reorganizing its consumer finance and loan businesses, including the creation of a separate holding company to meet capital requirements.
In early December, the government advised the billionaire to stay in the country, according to Bloomberg.
The rumors have been fueled by a publication of the Financial times, which reported that in November Ma was replaced as a judge on the final episode of Africa’s Business Heroes, a game show for entrepreneurs that he had created.
Facing the speculation, an Alibaba spokesperson told the British agency that the change was due to a scheduling conflict.
Retired at 56
Jack Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 as a retail sales platform.
Since then, the group has expanded at an accelerated pace, opening spaces in areas such as financial services, film production, among others.
Although the billionaire retired from the company in September 2019, at 56 years old, he still retains an influence in Alibaba and Ant Group through the portfolio of stocks he owns, according to Infobae.
Ma had a net worth of $ 61.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. However, this has fallen by more than $ 12 billion, due to controversies with the Chinese authorities.