As of writing this at 6pm on Thursday, I cannot find a single mainstream outlet who has this story on its website’s front page. Not CNN or Fox News. Not the Times or WaPo. Not Wall Street Journal or even Vice News. I know there’s a lot going on in the news and Georgia runoffs are dominating coverage, but 10 stories down on NPR’s main page a story about the richest man in China going missing is nowhere to be found. You know what is there though? Lil Nas X Says Children Are His Core Audience Right Now, And That’s OK. Hey at least we got our priorities straight baby!
First off, if you don’t know who Jack Ma is, you’re absolutely missing out. The guy is electric. Founder of Alibaba, basically China’s Amazon, his net worth sits somewhere between $50-$75 billion. Oh and he fucking loves dancing to Michael Jackson.
Some people think Ma is low-key an idiot, to which I say I don’t think an idiot can build a company worth billions of dollars, but what do I know? Critics and sympathizers alike point to his outspoken criticism of China’s ruling party as being an incredibly stupid thing to do and there’s ample evidence to back that point up.
Since president Xi Jingping’s 2012 crackdown on corruption, some of China’s richest and most powerful have disappeared for weeks or months on end. Some pop back up six months later after “assisting investigations,” like Mike Poon Ho Man (swear to God real name) as if nothing happened. Others, like Wu Xiaohui, chairman of a massive insurance conglomerate, criticize the president and then go to jail for 18 years.
Some don’t even get that lucky. In 2016 Yang Zezhu, a prominent banker, “fell” to his death from the 12th floor of a Wuhan City apartment building. Yes, that Wuhan. Other stuff happens there too. Zezhu left a suicide note, and it’s entirely plausible that the ongoing fraud investigations into his business forced him to take his own life. But I don’t feel too great about giving the Chinese Communist Party the benefit of the doubt. That mans got suicided.
So then, why aren’t more alarm bells ringing that Jack Ma hasn’t been seen in over 2 months? Two days before his new financial tech company ANT was about to go public, our boy Ma said that China’s regulatory and financial systems stifle innovation. He noted Chinese banks treat businesses like “pawn shops” and urged significant reforms. He said this with the very regulators he was criticizing literally in the audience LMAO.
So immediately after this, ANT’s IPO was put on hold and China launched an investigation into the company. They told Ma that he has to scale the business down significantly. He hasn’t been seen since that speech.
CNBC News’ David Faber, said he made some calls and Jack Ma is actually NOT missing, just laying low. *Phew* we can rest easy now! Thank you for making those calls Dave, much appreciated.
Faber is the only source to have confirmed this fact for now. In the following video he touts the fact that he has interviewed Jack Ma and Joe Tsai multiple times in the past. Joe Tsai is now chairman of Alibaba since Ma stepped down in 2019. He’s also the new owner of the Brooklyn Nets. Faber didn’t say he had specifically spoken to either of them on this matter though. Also, cares that you’ve interviewed Joe Tsai, how about instead of bragging you report the fucking news.
The normally outspoken Ma has been silent on social media and even cancelled a recent appearance on an African version of Shark Tank that he helped create. Faber speculates he’s likely still in Hangzhou, his hometown and Alibaba’s headquarters.
Who knows, maybe he really is just laying low. One Chinese consultant said “They spanked him. He’s learned his lesson and that’s why he’s been quiet.” One would think that one of the richest men in the world and biggest innovator in China would be somewhat protected from corporal punishment. But China has already halted ANT’s IPO, which would have undoubtedly been the biggest offering in world history. They seem to be moving down a path to nationalize Alibaba and take control of the company, just like they do with most companies. And there is a looooong list of rich and powerful who ultimately succumbed to the Chinese Communist Party. And then there’s this video from 2019…
Hmm… jail or die? Tough choice there Jacky boy!
Is it really so crazy to think that he got the fuck up out of there as quick as he could? Or that he’s in government custody as we speak? With all the fervor I hope he resurfaces in the next couple of days, but even that could be a CCP stunt to quell the masses. Either way, this issue deserves far more serious coverage from the media than it’s getting. Prayers up for Jack Ma, an absolute legend.