Alibaba founder, Jack Ma has reportedly not made a public appearance in at least two months even as the Chinese billionaire’s last online activity dates to October 2020.
According to reports, the founder of Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group was under the scrutiny of the Chinese government, after the country’s market watchdog began investigation last week into alleged anti-competition practices by Alibaba.
Yahoo Finance reports that Ma has not been seen in public since ten weeks.
His last disappearance was on October 24, 2020, when he called for economic reform in a speech in Shanghai.
Reports of Ma missing gathered steam after he didn’t appear on the final episode of ‘Africa’s Business Heroes,’ a talent show that he has created promising African entrepreneurs a shot at winning US$1.5 million to create their own business.
He was reportedly replaced by another Alibaba executive in November 2020, and his picture was also taken off the website as a judge.
A spokesperson for Alibaba told Financial Times that the billionaire was unable to take part on the judging panel “due to a scheduling conflict”.
Jack Ma stepped down as the chairman of Alibaba in September 2019, 20 years after he founded the company. He handed over the role to the company’s CEO Daniel Zhang and announced at the time that he will continue on the board of the company until its annual general shareholders meeting in 2020.