Where is Jack Ma? Chinese Media Says He’s ‘Embracing Supervision’

Tech billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma (or Ma Yun, in Chinese) disappeared from public view in November.

2 min read
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“There is no so-called (Ma) era,” read the headline of an article on the Chinese government’s mouthpiece People’s Daily, according to TIME.

The headline further read: “But only an era that has (Ma) in it.”

Tech billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma (or Ma Yun, in Chinese) disappeared from public view in November, amid a strife with Chinese regulators.

According to Asia Times Financial (ATF), the CCP mouthpiece has claimed that Ma is now ‘embracing supervision’ at an undisclosed location.   

Prior to his conflict with Chinese authorities, Jack Ma was referred to as ‘uncle horse’. Now, however, reported ATF, state media outlets have dubbed him a money-grabbing ‘vampire’ and that ‘online vitriol towards Ma has heated up (or been ramped up) dramatically’.


But, What Happened?

According to ATF, Ma, in a speech, had been critical of the China’s ongoing banking system, and said that the banking officials had a ‘pawnshop mentality’. He had also reportedly stated that China’s financial regulatory structure was unfit for firms like this.

Shortly after Ma, according to the Financial Times, ‘made a candid speech criticising China's regulators and its state-owned banks’, he was ‘dressed down’ by Beijing officials.

The $37 billion initial public offering of his company was also suspended.

Probe, Attempts to Revamp

According to IANS, in December, China’s top market watchdog began a probe into alleged anti-competition practices by Alibaba. Simultaneously, China also put together a ‘rectification plan’ for Ma’s fintech venture Ant Group.

The Chinese authorities, according to IANS, want Ant Group to ‘return to its roots in payments’, and incorporate ‘more transparency to transactions’.

Amid the backlash received by Ma for making his speech, he disappeared from his reality TV show, was also removed as a judge and according to ATF, no reasons were given for the same.

ATF further quoted a Bloomberg report saying that Ma was asked by the government to not leave the country.


What Does Chinese State Media Say About Ma?

“If you disregard your food and make use of the policy advantages given by the state to do business that is not conducive to economic development and not beneficial to the people’s lives, you will only end up reaping the consequences.”   
People’s Daily Online, according to ATF   

In a piece, in November, the People’s Daily Online had written:

“Ma Yun is savvy, but without the support of national policies, Ali will not be able to become a trillion business empire, and Ma Yun cannot have the influence and popularity today.”   
People’s Daily Online

Summing up, People’s Daily Online’s remarks, ATF reports:

“The evaluation of the People's Daily Online is that there is no so-called era of a certain person, only certain people who have been accomplished during an era. Regardless of whether it is Jack Ma or Liu Qiangdong, the reason why their companies were able to grow so well was not only their own efforts, but also the national policies that supported their development.”

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Topics:  china   Alibaba   Chinese Media 

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