Jack Ma, Alibaba founder failed to appear for the final episode of the talent show in November. Mystery has surrounded the whereabouts of the Chinese billionaire amid his ongoing conflict with the Chinese government.
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Jack Ma was supposed to appear as a judge in the final episode of the talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes. However, reports indicated that he failed to turn up for it. An Alibaba executive replaced the fifty-six-year-old in the final episode of the show. This gave budding African entrepreneurs the chance to compete for a prize of $1.5 million. Later on, Jack Ma’s photos were taken off the show’s website and left out of a promotional video for the show.
Just a few months ago the Chinese government had stopped an IPO of his Ant group. This occurred after the billionaire criticized China’s financial regulators and state-owned banks in October.
He had criticized the regulators for “stifling innovation” and compared global banking rules to an “old man’s club”. Ma criticized China for lacking a solid financial ecosystem and said Chinese banks seemed like “pawn shops”. His criticism of the Chinese authorities cost him big at the time. Since then, Chinese officials have turned the heat against him.
The country’s government also launched an anti-monopoly investigation into Alibaba in December 2020. This happened slightly after regulators earlier told Ant Group to restructure its operations.
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”However, Jack Ma was not part of the final episode of the show due to a “schedule conflict”.” Alibaba spokesperson told an International News Outlet. Till now the whereabouts of the Alibaba founder are unknown. Investigations are still ongoing.