After reports that Alibaba founder and tech billionaire Jack Ma “disappeared” from public life for over two months after his conflict with the Chinese government, it has now rumoured that the business leader is ’embracing supervision’. The tech giant in November criticized China’s regulators and state-owned banks. Also Read: Central Vista Project: SC Gives A Go-Ahead To Redevelopment Plan Of Parliament Building
A Hong Kong-based news media The Asia Times, has quoted Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily as saying Jack Ma is ’embracing supervision’ at an undisclosed location. The People’s Daily in a November piece also noted that the entrepreneur couldn’t take Alibaba to such heights without the Chinese government’s policies: “Ma Yun is savvy, but without the support of national policies, Ali will not be able to become a trillion business empire.”
Hence speculations are rife that the tech entrepreneur is either arrested or placed under house arrest. The communist country has a track record of keeping information under wraps, especially arrest of big personalities. Hence the term ’embracing supervision’ could also hint at jail. The disappearance of the Chinese tycoon has come at a time when the the state media has turned critical of the online mogul. After the recent tiff of the leader with the China’s authoritarian regime over the regulatory issues, Chinese media outlets have tried to portray him as money-grabbing “vampire” businessman changing his image from “Uncle Horse” (Ma in Chinese means horse)”.
Now, the business leader is being depicted as someone who loves to exploit the poor in various government-leaning media outlets.
Also, Jack Ma is not the only businessman in grip of supervision, JD.com Liu Qiangdong, has been brought down in the public eye. Liu Qiangdong led JD.com to make two public apologies, after he quickly made a decision and began to replace the management of JD.com to avoid the painful path of Ma and Ant Group.
Last month, as China’s top market watchdog, began an investigation into alleged anti-competition practices by the e-commerce giant Alibaba, the country also laid out a “rectification plan” for Ma’s fintech venture Ant Group. According to a report in TechCrunch, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, “summoned Ant Group for regulatory talks on December 26th, announcing a sweeping plan for the fintech firm to ‘rectify’ its regulatory violations”.