Chinese billionaire Jack Ma - the man behind Asia's version of Amazon - has slipped to third in the country's rich list after criticising authorities and disappearing from his own TV show.
Chief executive and founder of budget e-commerce marketplace Pinduoduo Colin Huang has overtaken Ma of Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings’ Pony Ma Huateng to become the country's second richest person.
He now has a current net worth of US$63.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The news comes as mystery surrounds the whereabouts of Jack Ma, who vanished from his own TV talent show. There has been no sign of him since late October.
The 56-year-old is said to have made around £35billion from creating Alibaba, the Asian version of Amazon, and was a poster boy for the communist regime.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of Jack Ma (pictured in September singing a song during an event to mark the 20th anniversary of Alibaba in Hangzhou) who vanished from his own TV talent show. There has been no sign of him since late October
But China’s rulers seemed to turn against him after he criticised regulators and state-owned banks at a financial technology conference in October.
On Wednesday, shares of Nasdaq-listed Pinduoduo rose 7.77 per cent in New York, lifting its market capitalisation to nearly US$220 billion.
It marked the second day in a row that the five-year-old start-up passed the US $200 billion mark in value.
Huang’s wealth in China is now behind only Zhong Shanshan, the chairman of bottled water giant Nongfu Spring that recently completed a record-breaking HK$677 billion (US$87 billion) Hong Kong IPO in September 2020.
The fate of the country's largest e-commerce, delivery and social media platforms has been in limbo since Beijing drafted a document to crackdown on the 'platform economy' in early November.
Meanwhile, Ma's profile has gone from the judging webpage of Africa’s Business Heroes – a Dragons’ Den-style TV programme for budding entrepreneurs. The final took place without him and he is also absent from promotional videos.
Weeks before the final in November, Mr Ma had tweeted that he ‘couldn’t wait’ to meet the contestants. There has been no activity since then on the