Where is Jack Ma? The 'mysterious' disappearance of the Chinese billionaire puts the world into shock!

Prompting the emergence of a fashion that anything will happen anytime to anyone in China, one of Asia's billionaires and Chinese business tycoon Jack Ma, who is the founder of Alibaba, has not been seen for the past two months and the shocking development had stirred global speculations that he has been missing and questions of his whereabouts have heavily been surfaced across and beyond the world's most populous country. 

Jack Ma has built an empire of an e-commerce company and the 56-year-old billionaire is highly regarded as one of the richest persons in China and Asia. Besides building a multinational technology conglomerate, Jack Ma is better known to be a philanthropist and he is also a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy. He was active in his public life but since the last two months, he has not been seen publicly which put a 'missing' tag before his name. 

In what has become a global shock, the news of his whereabouts had erupted after his absence in the final episode of a TV show on which he was to appear as a judge. The Financial Times reported on Friday that Jack Ma was replaced as a judge in the final episode in November of a game show for entrepreneurs called Africa's Business Heroes. His absence at the TV show had triggered massive speculations that he has gone missing from public view.

According to Reuters, the Chinese billionaire was lastly seen in a public view in late October while he took part in a forum in Shanghai.  In the forum, Jack Ma had slammed the Chinese regulatory system in his address and his speech against the regulatory system was said to have disturbed the Chinese rulers and in retaliation against Jack Ma, the government had suspended the $37 billion IPO of Alibaba's Ant Group. Following the development, he had disappeared from the public view which was apparently seen in his absence from the TV show. 

However, speaking to Reuters on Monday, the spokeswoman of Alibaba maintained that Ma was replaced in the TV show due to a scheduling conflict. Being a strong proponent of an open economy, Jack Ma's speech against China's system had disturbed the rulers and the Chinese regulators had launched an antitrust probe into Alibaba, which has been seen as a drive of intimidating the Chinese high-profile billionaire. 

While addressing the forum, he also had criticized the state-owned banks and he said that these Chinese regulators have a 'pawnshop mentality'. The banner of revolt from the high-profile businessman had irked the Chinese government as the policies of Xi Jinping, filled with tight and autocratic parameters, won't entertain the flak and dissents put against the government. Initially, Jack Ma faced trouble from the government after it had suspended the IPO offering of his company Ant Group and he has now been disappeared, leaving the rise of speculations over his whereabouts. 

Previously, Jack Ma had also said that they will change the banks if the state-owned banks don't change. Following the suspension of IPO offering, the Chinese regulatory started the investigation into what it claimed as the anti-competition practices by Ma's e-commerce empire Alibaba. Along with that, the People's Bank of China, the state-owned bank, had summoned Jack Ma's Ant Group for regulatory talks to rectify its regulatory violations. 

According to reports, the bank had levied compliance agenda for Ant Group and the agenda is that Ant Group should return to its roots in payments and bring more transparency to transactions. The Chinese based Xinhua news agency said that the People's Bank of China, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange had started its operation against the Ant Group. 

The State Administration for Market Regulation started an investigation into anti-competition by Alibaba. As the clampdown with Beijing had returned as the economic strike from the country's high-command, the mysterious disappearance of Jack Ma was attributed to the suppression of the Chinese regime and the shocking development had collapsed his empire and faltered the share prices and personal wealth.

The speculations had stirred a major divide in social media with the users expressing shock over the disappearance while some had said that the Jack Ma Era is ended. While the world got stunned to learn the sudden and mysterious disappearance of Jack Ma, China, which has stringent anti-western policies in politics, technology, and in all sectors, had shown that such enforced disappearances aren't new as earlier, Chinese financier Xiao Jianhua was earlier kidnapped from Hong Kong. 

Being regarded as the businessman who maintained good relations with the Chinese government for over two decades, his disappearance had shown that the relations had soured after his speech against the Chinese regulatory systems. Jack Ma founded Alibaba Group in 1999 and while it was established as an e-commerce company, Jack Ma had successfully expanded his empire into cloud computing, video-streaming, movie production, healthcare, sports, retail, and news media. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Jack Ma is worth $50.6 billion, making him the fourth-richest person in China.