By Hirum Muli,
Jack Ma, once the richest man in China, has been omitted from the list of Chinese entrepreneurial leaders published by the state media, an indication that the billionaire is out of favour with Beijing.
The billionaire did not even get a mention in the front-page story published by Shanghai Securities News, Reuters said on Tuesday.
In his place, the state media lauded Huawei Technologies Ren Zhengfei, Xiami Corp’s Lei Jun and BYD’s Wang Chuanfu.
The new list was published to coincide with Alibaba’s release of its quarterly earnings on Tuesday.
Ma’s troubles began in October last year when he gave a speech that was critical of China’s regulatory system, leading to Beijing’s suspension of his Ant Group’s $37 billion IPO a few days before listing.
Chinese regulators thereafter launched a probe into the tech sector but with Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba, taking much of the flak.
The billionaire disappeared from the public eye for several months leading to speculation about his whereabouts.
He re-emerged in January in short video communication that lasted a little under a minute.