'Jack Ma Is in the Chinese Ritz Carlton': Is the Alibaba Billionaire Missing 'Saudi Style'?

Published January 4th, 2021 - 07:14 GMT
Is Jack Ma Is in the 'Chinese Ritz Carlton': The Alibaba Billionaire Is Certainly in Trouble, but Is He Missing?
Online commentators remembered the 2017 Riyadh's Ritz Carlton incident when Saudi arrested wealthy millionaires in the country's fanciest hotel for over a month. (Al Bawaba)

Only recently did the world take note of the fact that Alibaba's founder and China's third-richest man has been missing, after the final episode of his own TV show 'Africa’s Business Heroes' was aired without him attending;sparking questions over his whereabouts and whether or not he has been arrested by the Chinese authorities over recent criticism of their policies.

Despite being labeled as the Chinese business star, whose success might have been whitewashing the Chinese communist political regime, Jack Ma, also known in China as Daddy Ma, has been absent from the public eye since last October.

Since then, the Chinese billionaire who has founded the Chinese Amazon-like e-commerce empire has been reported to have major financial and legal troubles, all related to his fintech Ant Group, including news of him offering "any of the group's platforms to the government" after officials have already pulled a $37 billion-worth IPO.

These developments have been greatly linked to statements Ma had made publicly, shunning the Chinese financial regularly system, which according to many analysts, may have urged the Chinese president Xi Jinping to personally order "digging dirt on his own "poster boy."

Most recently, the Chinese businessman was reported to have lost his rank as Asia's richest man, slipping into China's third-richest person.

Reacting to news of Ma's possible disappearance, social media users noted that the well-known internet star was used to tweeting several times a day, an activity that has been completely halted since the 10th of October 2020, expressing their concern that he might be arrested or jailed by the Chinese authorities, paying the price of his criticism of their financial policies.

Some commentators went on to point out the irony in the possible detention of Jack Ma, remembering the 2017 Saudi crackdown on the country's wealthiest businessmen, holding them for several months in the capital city's fanciest hotel; the Ritz Carlton, before they were released upon giving up millions of dollars to avoid prosecution over possible corruption.

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