China’s most famous businessman, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma was not mentioned in an article published in the state-run Shanghai Securities News newspaper.
On the day the e-commerce giant reported quarterly earnings, instead of Alibaba Group and Jack Ma, Huawei and Zhen Zhengfei, Xiaomi and Lei Jun, BYD and Wang Chuanfu made it into the publication. This “element of disfavor” for Jack Ma is considered a hint of the entrepreneur’s problems with the authorities after Ma’s speech in Shanghai on Oct. 24, in which he criticized the authorities and major market players, Reuters wrote.
This led to the suspension of his $37 billion Ant Group IPO just days before the listing. Regulators launched an antitrust investigation into the technology sector, with Alibaba taking much of the blame for the problems it uncovered.
And Ma himself disappeared from public view for about three months, prompting a slew of rumors about his whereabouts. And at the end of January, the entrepreneur showed up with a little message.