Jack Ma is the one who established Alibaba and also is its executive chairman. In 2020, Ma retired as the company’s executive chairman but before that, an interesting yet dramatic turn of events took place when the former executive chairman made a controversial speech. It was uncertain if he disappeared himself or some action was taken against him.
Ma was critical of their attitude towards big business. “We shouldn’t regulate an airport the same way we manage a train station,” Ma declared. He asserted that the future can not change from the tools of the past. The moment somewhat became paradoxical because he was speaking just moments after China’s leader, Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Wang Qishan, who had said the absolute reverse. Wang had highlighted the importance of strong regulation in preventing the state from becoming a matter of the state.
Ma’s direct rebuke of Beijing’s discourse caused a stir, adding to the Communist party’s public repercussions. And after that, the events of his vanishing are pretty known.
During Ma’s three-month disappearance, there was a lot of speculation. Some assumed that the 56-year-old had left the country, while others believed that he was simply maintaining a low profile and had been seen on the golf course. When he was unexpectedly replaced as a judge on the TV talent show Africa’s Business Heroes, the hearsay began to fly.
Even though Mr. Ma has stepped down as Alibaba’s chairman to devote more time to education and philanthropic endeavors, such as his Jack Ma Foundation, he remains the company’s largest individual shareholder and wields significant power.
As part of the Jack Ma Foundation’s rural teacher project, Mr. Ma met with 100 rural teachers via video conference last week. Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares rose 6% as a result of his reappearance.
Magnus points out that it is impossible to know whether Ma is under some form of detention. His current whereabouts are not certain either. And the fact that his businesses have become so integral to everyday financial transactions for many Chinese people may not protect him.
In conclusion, as Mr. McGregor said after Xi Jinping, Mr. Ma was the next “best-known Chinese person” in China, and his status was “both a blessing and a potential curse”.
Reported by: Zarrish