Popular Chinese e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, withdraws from public domain after criticizing Chinese regulators, especially China’s state Financial System.
During a conference in Shanghai, the Alibaba founder referred to the communist nation’s banking system as one that operates with a “pawnshop” mentality and also described the methods of the global financial regulation system as being archaic.
In a bid to call for reforms, Mr. Ma stated that, “The Basel Accords are like an old people’s club … we can’t use yesterday’s methods to regulate the future.” He added that, “today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age. We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system.”
His businesses have so far faced series of attacks following his open criticism of the system; the much anticipated stock market listing for his company, Ant Group which was claimed to be the world’s biggest IPO with a value of about $35bn (£25.5bn) was suspended by China’s regulatory authorities citing “major issues” as justification. Moreover Chinese regulators have mounted an antitrust investigation into his e-commerce company, Alibaba.
In addition, the Chinese business mogul has suddenly disappeared from public space fuelling speculations that, he has been targeted; Mr. Ma failed to appear as the major guest and a judge at the finals of a talent show in which his foundation provides financial support for thriving African entrepreneurs. Alibaba spokesperson cited “schedule conflict” as reason for his absence. Mr Ma has also not posted anything on his social media handles for over two months.
His sudden disappearance from public space due to obvious reasons gives credence to the existing theory that, Chinese businessmen who criticize regulators and the communist system always face hash treatment.
Typical example is the case of real estate tycoon, Ren Zhiqiang, who fell out of fame after accusing the Communist Party of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic. He was later sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Another example is the treatment meted out to the CEO of Tomorrow Group, Xiao Jianhua. The asset manager was abducted from a hotel in Hong Kong in January 2017. Parts of his company was also seized by the country.
The BBC also reported that, Meng Hongwei, the former head of Interpol also disappeared in September 2018 during a trip to China from France.
As it stands now, the world is curious about the sudden decision of the founder of Ant Group and Chinese E-commerce holdings, Alibaba.