Chinese Billionaire Goes Missing After Criticizing Chinese Government


Garrett Duncan, Contributor

Jack Ma was an influential businessman in China and a billionaire.  He created multiple companies such as Alibaba and Ant Group.  He was on top of the world, and living comfortably with his companies being so successful that he stepped away for a while to create a TV show called Africa’s Business Heroes.  And yet, he has not been seen since Oct. 24, and his two companies have been placed under review by the Chinese government. (Fox News)

What happened to this prominent and important man? On Oct. 24, he made a speech in Shanghai in which he stated, “Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age…We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system” (Fox News). He then disappeared from every aspect of his public life and has not been seen right after he criticized the current economical systems of China.  He did not even show up for an already scheduled guest appearance on his own show.

So what could have happened to Ma?  Was he “disappeared” like other Chinese public figures who spoke out against the Chinese government?  This incident seems similar to the time Ren Zhiqiang went missing after criticizing the Chinese President’s handling of Covid 19. (CNN) Zhiqiang disappeared, and eventually went to jail for 18 years on charges of unspecified corruption.

It would not be unlike China to kidnap, imprison, or even kill someone who was critical of the government.  However, there could be another reason as to Ma’s disappearance. He is a rich man, and so probably well informed as to the inner workings of the government. It is possible that he planned to go into hiding after his speech, and that is why he felt confident in criticizing the government on TV. (Business Insider) However, it is also possible that he just said what he believed without considering there would be consequences, and was “disappeared”.

As of this time, either of those theories could make sense.