The celebrated entrepreneur was slated to appear as a star judge on the season finale of Africa’s Business Heroes. Ma’s own philanthropic organization created the reality TV show. His dropping out of the show led the organizers to postpone the broadcast.
The program’s biggest selling point was previously Ma’s image and name. They have since removed it from promotional material related to the finale. Reports say Mr. Ma could no longer be part of the finale because of a scheduling conflict. They replaced him on the judges panel by Lucy Peng, an Alibaba co-founder.
Where Ma’s troubles started from;
Ma’s retreat from the public eye in China follows an official fall from grace that was swift and stunning. Most people know Ma for his big-government connections and his rare outspokenness. But despite that, he has found himself on a rare receiving end of sudden reassessment of his celebrated tech conglomerate’s reach and power.
The trouble began in Early November when Beijing canceled the IPO of Alibaba’s fintech behemoth Ant Financial. It was set to raise $34 billion in the biggest stock-market debut in history. The sudden regulatory halt came after Ma’s speech which criticized China’s regulators and state-owned banks for their backwardness.
Ma’s remarks apparently infuriated Beijing’s party brass, which made China’s president Xi Jinping to order an end to Ant’s offering.
In late December, things became worse for Ma and Alibaba when Chinese regulators said they would launch an antitrust investigation into Alibaba’s business. Government investigators soon went to Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou shortly after that.
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