A billionaire tech tycoon has mysteriously vanished from his own reality show after criticising China's regime.
Jack Ma – reported to be worth at least $62 billion – has not been seen in public since late October, The Sun reports.
The 56-year-old made his fortune after creating Alibaba, dubbed Asia’s Amazon, and was once a favourite of the communist regimen in China.
However, the former English teacher was suddenly replaced as a judge on the final of Africa’s Business Heroes, a Dragons’ Den-style TV contest for budding entrepreneurs.
His photograph was then removed from the judging panel’s web page and he was later left out of a promotional video.
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The father of three had earlier tweeted that he “couldn’t wait” to meet all the contestants.
A spokesman for Alibaba said: “Due to a schedule conflict Mr Ma could no longer be part of the finale judge panel of Africa’s Business Heroes earlier this year.”
The final took place just weeks after Ma made a speech slamming China’s regulators and its state-owned banks.
Last month the authorities suddenly announced an anti-monopoly investigation into his company.
Ma is one of China’s wealthiest men and is also well known for his work with the UN and multiple global charities.
During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic he has donated tens of millions of face masks across the world.
However, in recent weeks there has been no activity on his Twitter account – which usually carried several tweets a day.
There is no suggestion so far that he has come to physical harm, reports MailOnline.
But China has a no-nonsense approach to dealing with those that speak out against the regimen.
In March, a property tycoon disappeared after he called President Xi Jinping a ‘clown’ for his handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Friends of Ren Zhiqiang say he was later sentenced to 18 years in prison after he apparently “voluntarily confessed” to various crimes of corruption.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.