The world’s attention is on Jack Ma’s whereabouts after reports noted the billionaire founder of Alibaba, AliExpress and Ant Group had been absent from public view since late October.
On October 24, Ma delivered fiery remarks against China’s financial system to an audience of high-rank officials. Days later the Chinese authorities abruptly halted Ant’s initial public offering, an act believed to be linked to Ma’s controversial speech. The Chinese government subsequently told the fintech behemoth, which had thrived in a relatively lax regulatory environment, to “rectify” its business according to the law. The future of Ant hangs in the air.