By: Bradley Thayer & Lianchao Han

Jack Ma, the richest man in China and founder of Alibaba, oddly vanished from public view for nearly three months only to reappear recently on a homemade video, promising “to meet again after the pandemic is over.” This indicates that, unlike other less fortunate wealthy businessmen, Ma is safe for the time being.

However, it does not mean Ma is out of danger. Ma is a vocal billionaire who has been popular as well as controversial in China. His unexplained disappearance raised suspicion that he might be detained by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the highest internal enforcement institution of the Chinese Communist Party, of which Ma is a member. There is ample precedent for this. Many Ma’s fellow wealthy entrepreneurs disappeared in CCDI’s jails for long periods of time, only to resurface before one of the “people’s courts,” before sentencing. Wu Xiaohui, the grandson-in-law of China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, and Chairman and General Manager of Anbang Insurance, was sentenced to eighteen years in prison and his property of RMB 85.7 billion was taken from him… [Continue Reading]