By Adedapo Adesanya
Despite widespread reports that Chinese billionaire, Mr Jack Ma, was missing, a source has come out to say he is alive but “laying low”.
CNBC’s David Faber reported on Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter that the Alibaba founder was keeping a low profile due to the recent events surrounding him.
Mr Ma had been reported to have gone missing since October after he got into trouble at a forum last year where he criticised China’s financial regulators.
The ANT fintech group chairman called out the system for stifling innovation and likened global banking rules to an “old people’s club”.
“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age.
“We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system,” Mr Ma had said in the speech.
Following the event, the fintech saw its record-setting initial public offering (IPO) of $34.5 billion suspended by stock exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
It would have been the world’s biggest initial public listing, surpassing the record set by the Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion float in December 2019.
The company said it suspended its Hong Kong listing after being informed by the Shanghai Stock Exchange that the IPO would be delayed.
Mr Ma and two Ant Group executives were summoned and interviewed by regulators in China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in November.
Mr Ma is also involved in philanthropy and has donated millions of face masks and COVID-19 preventive materials to Africa, Europe, the United States and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a bid to stem the pandemic.
China has been criticised for a number of human rights abuses including discrimination and even the disappearance of the country’s most vocal critics.
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