Tongues began flapping when Jack Ma didn’t show up in the final episode of his own talent show, ‘Africa’s Business Heroes,’ in November. This show offers young African entrepreneurs the opportunity to win $1.5 million.
The 56-year-old beleaguered billionaire was therefore substituted by Lucy Peng, the Alibaba executive, to judge the program, and according to the company’s representative, Ma was unable to show up because of his hectic schedule, the Financial Times reported.
There’s a lot of talk about the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma going ‘missing’ because he’s never been seen in public for almost two months. According to news, the founder of China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba, was under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government after the country’s antitrust watchdog started an investigation last week into the suspected anti-competition activities of Alibaba.
Though analysts like investor Mark Mobius argued that the move was intended to avoid financial institutions from becoming too big, many interpreted it as Beijing’s response to Ma’s opposition to the authority. The whole episode is more intriguing considering that there have been a few billionaires in China who have mysteriously vanished in the past.
Jack Ma resigned as chairman of Alibaba in September 2019, 20 years after the organisation was formed. He transferred the authority to the CEO of the company, Daniel Zhang, and declared that he will stay on the company’s board of directors until its annual general shareholders’ meeting in 2020.