Jack Ma on the day of his retirement as chairman for Alibaba. Credit: Bloomberg

Business tycoon and philanthropist Jack Ma is not really missing, but merely laying low, CNBC reports.

In a report on one of CNBC’s stock exchange news show, “Squawk on the Street” that aired on 5 January, show host David Faber said that he “made some calls” to his sources about Jack Ma and he found out that Jack Ma is “being less visible purposefully”, presumably due to a speech made on 24 October 2020.

Mr Faber, quoting his sources, also added that Jack Ma is “very likely in Hangzhou, China,” which is also where Alibaba, the company he founded, is headquartered.

In said speech, Jack Ma criticised the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “pawnshop” financial regulators and state-owned banks and called for the reformation of the government’s regulation system for impeding innovations in businesses.

Jack Ma also made comments on the similarities of the global banking regulations and an “old people’s club.”

Jack Ma was rumoured to have disappeared as he has not been seen publicly since his speech on 24 October.

With his disappearance, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started a massive clampdown on Alibaba with antitrust probes into the company’s suspected monopolistic behaviour.

CCP President Xi Jinping also ordered the suspension of the $37 billion Initial Public Offering of Jack Ma’s Ant Group in November 2020. This is due to China’s Financial Stability and Development Committee raising concerns about the risks connected to the rapid development of financial technology that led to Ant’s rise, as reported in Reuter’s timeline of the suspension.

While Alibaba’s stocks slid by as much as 3% on 4 January, a 6 January report from the Business Insider and TheStreet stated that after the CNBC report of Jack Ma not actually missing, Alibaba’s stocks jumped up by 5%.

Alibaba has yet to address its former chairman’s disappearance as of publication time


Written by John Paul Joaquin