China's most famous billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been suspected missing for the past two months. Netizens took to social media to speculate on his whereabouts.
Reports stated that he has been 'embracing supervision' at an undisclosed location, fuelling speculation that he has been placed under house arrest or has been arrested. Ma's alleged disappearance and before that his fall from grace came after the billionaire criticised China's regulatory system in October last year.
According to reports, Ma has also been advised by the government not to leave the country. Jack Ma's reported disappearance triggered international media as well as social media users to raise questions.
Twitter users took to float their theories on Jack Ma's disappearance.
When Kim Jong Un found that Jack Ma has been missing for 2 months pic.twitter.com/bGWKnme9fz— All India Memes (@allindiamemes) January 6, 2021
News: Jack Ma is missing— Dr. Strange 3.0 (@humour_kichad) January 5, 2021
other billionaires to xi Jinping: pic.twitter.com/twjL211wMn
*Jack Ma who criticised chinese government missing*— Arvind Schröödinger// Return 0; (@being__paranoid) January 4, 2021
Xi Jinping to other criticisers: pic.twitter.com/0Ukh5YQTq8
*Jack Ma suspected missing for 2 months* pic.twitter.com/boJ7vDwnyU— Vijay Jaiswal (@puntasticVU) January 4, 2021
*Chinese billionaire Jack Ma suspected missing*— رومانا (@RomanaRaza) January 4, 2021
Kim Jong-un to Xi Jinping: pic.twitter.com/x1D7lcM3xn
Ma said that the Chinese system has a 'pawnshop mentality' and called for a reform in the country's regulatory system. He also said that the system stifled business innovation and compared China's global banking regulations to an 'old people's club'. Ma's subsequent fall from grace came after the criticism. He also faced a lot of flak from state-owned media that posed him as a 'money-grabbing vampire' that exploited the poor to further his gains. An anti-monopoly probe was launched against the company.
This happened days before Ant Group was due to stage its initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Regulators pulled the plug on the IPO set to become the world's biggest due to concerns over the growth of online lending and capacity to destabilise China's financial system.
Jack Ma's personal wealth was at $60 billion in October but fell $12 billion due to a plunge in his shareholding in the last two months over the run-in with the government.