Several well-known people from various walks of life including actress Fan Bingbing, ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, businessman, and investor Guo Guangchang, and ex-real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang were made to disappear. All of them, however, mysteriously reappeared after some time.
Media reports are rife with Alibaba founder and billionaire business tycoon Jack Ma and his reported disappearance in China. Ma has been off the radar ever since he made deprecating remarks against the Chinese regulators in a summit in October 2020 for their efforts in stifling innovation.
Jack Ma had gone on a tirade against China’s current banking system, the financial regulatory structure of the Communist-ruled country, and how it was unsuitable for his fintech giant, Ant group. Ma’s critical remarks for the Communist regime, which demands nothing more than complete and utter obedience, terminated the planned IPO of his fintech giant, Ant Group, on November 3, just two days before it was scheduled to begin trading.
Ma had gone on a tirade against China’s current banking system, the financial regulatory structure of the Communist-ruled country, and how it was unsuitable for his fintech giant, Ant group. Ma’s critical remarks for the Communist regime, which demands nothing more than complete and utter obedience, terminated the planned IPO of his fintech giant, Ant Group, on November 3, just two days before it was scheduled to begin trading.
Days after his unflattering opinion of the Chinese authorities, Ma was summoned to a meeting with Communist Party officials. His other venture, Alibaba is also under investigation for monopolistic behaviour, as per a statement released by the Chinese Communist Party’s market supervision arm.
And Ma has not been spotted since October. Ma was conspicuous by his absence when the billionaire was replaced as a judge in the final of his own show—Africa’s Business Heroes, a television contest for budding entrepreneurs—and his photograph was removed from the judging webpage. Apparently, he has also been conspicuously left out of a promotional video.
The disappearance of Jack Ma underscores the strained relationship between the billionaire business tycoon and the Chinese authoritarian leader Xi Jinping.
Jinping has been unabashed in wielding power against those he perceives as challenging the dominance and authority of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese President has shown little tolerance towards dissenting views and has come down hard against those who have refused to conform to his worldview.
Actress Fan Bingbing was reportedly detained by provincial authorities in connection with a tax evasion case. She mysteriously disappeared from the public eye for four months in 2018.
Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei who was the first Chinese head of Interpol also vanished on a trip back to the country from France in September 2018 but the organisation said he tendered his resignation days after he had gone missing from China.
Businessman and investor Guo Guangchang who disappeared in 2015 subsequently reappeared later and claimed that he had been assisting authorities in an unnamed investigation.
Former real estate tycoon and a staunch critic of China’s President Xi Jinping, Ren Zhiqiang had gone missing in March 2019 shortly after penning an essay critical of the Chinese Premier. Ren disappeared days after he wrote the scathing article. Months later, a court in Beijing sentenced Mr. Ren to 18 years in prison and found him guilty of graft, taking bribes, misusing public funds, and abusing his power during and after his time as an executive at a property development company.