Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma has allegedly fallen out with the Beijing government. Several recent articles reported that Ma offended the Chinese authorities by delivering a speech in Shanghai in October criticizing financial regulation, and that he and his colleagues were called in for questioning.
The planned IPO of his financial services powerhouse, Ant Group, for over $30 billion, was suddenly suspended. Antitrust investigations were instigated against his other major company, online retailer Alibaba (and also Chinese tech giant, Tencent).
Towards the end of the year, Ma then received a “rectification order” from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the central bank, outlining five ways in which Ant Group must comply with the regulator. To cap it all, the entrepreneur has reportedly not been seen in public since October.
Whatever the reality behind Ma’s government relations, many of these actions are part of steps to increase Chinese tech regulation that have been years…