Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, who has been under China government’s scrutiny since the abrupt suspension of Ant’s blockbuster $37 billion initial public offering (IPO) in Shanghai and Hong Kong has not been seen in public for more than two months, according to some media reports. Reports suggest that Jack Ma did not even shown up for the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes in November and an Alibaba executive had taken his place at the show.
Alibaba and rivals such as Tencent Holdings are facing increasing pressure from regulators after amassing hundreds of millions of users and gaining influence over almost every aspect of daily life in China.
Last month, China’s antitrust authorities had launched a probe into Ma’s e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding and China’s central bank had asked the group to shake up its lending and other consumer finance operations.
The Chinese regulators had earlier abruptly suspended Ant’s blockbuster $37 billion initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ant Group IPO, which was touted as the world’s biggest public offering and was scheduled to be simultaneously listed on Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses, on November 5, was halted in China less than 48 hours before going public.
Meanwhile, in an address in October, Jack Ma had famously attacked Chinese regulators for “lagging the times”.
Jack Ma’s Alibaba is arguably the world’s biggest e-commerce company with millions of users and billions of dollars in turnover. It has three main sites, including Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com.
In India, Alibaba has investments in payments company Paytm and its e-commerce arm Paytm Mall, food delivery start-up Zomato, online grocer BigBasket and online retailer Snapdeal, among others.