Where is Jack Ma, China’s e-commerce pioneer? – Associated Press

5January 2021

BEIJING( AP)– China’s best-known entrepreneur, e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, made his fortune by taking huge threats.

The former English teacher established Alibaba Group in 1999, when China had few internet users. Online payments service Alipay launched five years later on, before regulators stated such businesses would be enabled. Both long shots grew to control their markets.

Ma’s newest gambit backfired after he called regulators too conservative in an Oct. 24 speech and advised them to be more innovative. They stopped the upcoming stock exchange debut of Ant Group, an online finance platform that grew out of Alipay. Alibaba’s share price sank, possibly costing Ma his status as China’s wealthiest magnate.


Ever since, the typically voluble Ma has stayed out of the public eye, canceled a TV appearance and prevented social media. That has actually triggered a flurry of speculation about what might happen to Ma, China’s most significant international organization celebrity and a symbol of its tech boom.

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“The Jack Ma Era is ended,” wrote a blogger under the name Yueyue Talks Technology. “It’s too late to bid farewell.”

Spokespeople for Alibaba and Ant didn’t react to questions about why Ma hasn’t appeared in public.

Some see Ma’s travails as a caution from the ruling Communist Party that even an extremely effective business owner can’t openly defy regulators. However finance specialists stated President Xi Jinping’s federal government currently was anxious about Alibaba’s dominance in selling. When it comes to Ant, regulators worried it might contribute to monetary dangers seen by the ruling celebration as one of the biggest threats to China’s economic growth.

Shaun Rein, a service specialist in Shanghai who said he satisfies Alibaba supervisors and people who know Ma, said none of them reports the billionaire remains in legal trouble.

“They spanked him. He’s learned his lesson, which’s why he’s been peaceful for the previous 2 months,” said Rein, creator of China Marketing research Group. “A few of his buddies told me they can’t think how silly he was.”

Ma, 56, stepped down as Alibaba’s chairman in 2019 however becomes part of the Alibaba Partnership, a 36-member group with the right to choose a majority of its board of directors. He is one of the greatest investors.

Ma bugged regulators with the speech at a business conference in Shanghai went to by some of the regulators he was slamming. Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan also was in the audience.

Ma grumbled regulators had an antique “pawnshop mentality” and were hampering innovation, according to Chinese media. He attracted them to support unconventional approaches to make it easier for entrepreneurs and youths to borrow.


“The race tomorrow will be a race of innovation, not regulatory abilities,” Ma said, according to the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily.

That clashed with the ruling party’s marathon project to reduce surging debt that has prompted worries about a possible monetary crisis and led global score agencies to cut Beijing’s credit score for government borrowing. At the exact same occasion in Shanghai, Wang cautioned new innovations improve effectiveness however “amplified monetary risks,” according to business magazine Caixin.

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