Alibaba Founder Jack Ma Is Not Missing, According To Report
CNBC's David Faber spoke to someone 'familiar with the matter' who said the Alibaba founder isn't missing but is just keeping his head down for the time being.
Faber said on CNBC: "He's not missing.
"I haven't seen Jack Ma in quite some time, but I have interviewed him many times, but what I can tell you is that he's very likely in Hangzhou, where Alibaba is headquartered, and is being less-visible, purposefully... but that doesn't mean that he's missing.
"He hasn't been captured, he hasn't been taken and there's no expectation that the government is going to move on him in some way."
He added: "He's not showing up, but he's not missing."
The 56-year-old has not been seen for weeks, after he publicly criticised Chinese authorities, leading to questions regarding his whereabouts.
Ma, who is one of China's richest men, has clashed with authorities in the country over his preference for more of an open, market-driven economy.
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According to the Financial Times, Ma was replaced as a judge in the final of Africa's Business Heroes, a Dragon's Den-style TV show, while his photo also removed from the judging webpage and he was left out of a promotional video.
The final took place back in November - shortly after Ma criticised China's regulators and its state-owned banks in a speech.
A spokesperson for Alibaba 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)."
The Financial Times reports he was then 'dressed down by officials in Beijing' and had the $37bn initial public offering of his company Ant Group suspended.
Ma has also been quiet on social media, with his last tweet posted in October.
The English teacher-turned business magnate is said to have made around £35 billion from creating Alibaba.
As a result of his alleged 'disappearance' Alibaba saw its shares fall 2.15 percent on the Hong Kong exchange.
But the report from CNBC has seen shares bounce back, with Alibaba's US-listed shares rising 5.5 percent.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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