Jack Ma, the co-funder of Alibaba and Ant Group, hasn’t been seen publicly in more than two months. Mr Ma was replaced as a judge in the final of Africa’s Business Heroes, a television contest for budding entrepreneurs, his photograph was removed from the judging webpage, and he was conspicuously left out of a promotional video.
A spokesperson for Alibaba, which was founded by Mr Ma, said: “Due to a schedule conflict Mr Ma could no longer be part of the finale judge panel of Africa’s Business Heroes earlier this year (2020).”
Ma, who is personally worth $48.2 billion, hedge his speech carefully. He described himself as “a somewhat retired man … sharing the non-professional views of a non-professional” and conceded that his ideas might be “immature, inaccurate or even laughable.”
Ma, who has over 612K followers on Twitter, last posted on the micro-blogging platform on October 10. In his tweet, he spoke of his partnership with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Price William and Kate – and their association with the Earthshot Prize that fetes climate change warriors.
In December, 2020, China’s top market watchdog began investigation into alleged anti-competition practices by Alibaba. Local media also reported that the country has now laid out ‘rectification plan’ for his fintech venture Ant Group.