China’s most famous billionaire has suffered months of mounting
trouble, with regulators turning the screws on his tech empire.
And now social media is abuzz with the darkest speculation yet: Is
Jack Ma missing?
The charismatic founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, known for
his frequent Davos appearances and Michael Jackson dance moves,
hasn’t been seen in public since late October, when he criticized
Chinese regulators in a speech.
His absence, combined with regulatory troubles including a recent
antitrust probe, have fueled wild speculation on social media
about his whereabouts, with some fearing he is under house arrest.
In China, it’s not unusual for powerful figures to disappear with
little public explanation when they fall afoul of authorities — such as in 2018, when the country’s most prominent movie star, Fan
Bingbing, fell off the map for months before reemerging to
confess to tax evasion.
No need to read too much into it. I’m sure he’s fine.