FEBRUARY 2, 2021
In yet another blow to Alibaba co-founder and billionaire Jack Ma, the Chinese state media on Tuesday removed his name from list of the country’s pioneering tech giants. Ma’s archrival and Ali Baba’s co-founder Pony M was lauded by , who the Shanghai Securities News for “rewriting the mobile age”.
According to Bloomberg, Beijing’s official newspaper carried the editorial on the same day Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. was scheduled to unveil its earnings. The list prepared by Chinese media mentioned BYD Co. Chairman Wang Chuanfu, Xiaomi Corp. co-founder Lei Jun and Huawei Technologies Co.’s Ren Zhengfei and other tech tycoons.
“A generation of Chinese entrepreneurs emerged from the rigid structures of our old economic system with the desire to escape poverty and passion to achieve business ambitions. They have breathed new life into China’s economic reforms,” the newspaper, which is backed by the official Xinhua News Agency, wrote.
Jack Ma earned the ire of Chinese government after he slammed the financial regulators of the country and state-owned banks in a speech in Shanghai in October 2020. He also called for reform of a system that ‘stifled business innovation’ and said that global banking regulations are like an ‘old people’s club’.
On January 20, Jack Ma made his first public appearance since October via a live video meeting.
The speculations over Jack Ma’s whereabouts intensified few days ago after it was reported that he was ‘arrested’ and that’s why he failed to attend final episode of a TV show featuring him as a judge. It is to be noted that Jack Ma is facing a regulatory clampdown by Chinese authorities on his business empire.
Jack Ma disappeared from public view in late-October after he slammed China’s regulatory system in a speech. Experts maintain that Ma’s criticism of China’s policies did not go down well with Beijing and this is the reason behind suspension of a USD 37-billion IPO of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.
Ma is one of China’s wealthiest men. Forbes reported that Jack Ma Foundation has distributed or pledged more than USD 300 million for charity purposes.