By Oisin Sweeney • 02 January 2021 • 22:28
Jack Ma, founder of online marketplace Alibaba, is one of China's richest men - Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
JACK MA, one of China’s richest men, has disappeared after criticising the country’s regime government.
The billionaire made his fortune by founding Alibaba, one of Asia’s largest online marketplaces. With his net worth of over £35 billion, he is one of China’s richest businessmen in a regime where the wealthy and successful often must cooperate with the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
Recently, Ma disappeared from his position as a judge on Africa’s Business Heroes – similar to Dragon’s Den in the UK. His photo was removed from the popular show’s website, and the tycoon was cut from all video promotional material.
An Alibaba spokesman said that Ma could no longer be a member of the show’s judging panel due to a “schedule conflict”, though many believe the billionaire’s disappearance from public life is linked to his increasingly outspoken views against Xi Xinping’s government.
In March, property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang was sentenced to 18 years in prison on corruption charges after he described Premier Xi as a “clown” for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many analysts believe that the Chinese regime has launched a crackdown on dissenting voices within its business elite, which Jack Ma may have been the latest target of.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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