Jack Ma personifies the contradiction of China’s ideology
The Communist Party system needs entrepreneurs but curtails anyone who becomes too powerful
Imagine if Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates disappeared from public view and it was automatically assumed they had been arrested on the orders of President Joe Biden and were being interrogated in a secret government jail.
That is the situation in the world’s second biggest economy, where Jack Ma, the Bezos of China with more than $50bn (R753.3bn) to his name, has appeared just once since October — in a short video that did little to quell speculation he was being held hostage by the state. Ma vanished after Chinese authorities blocked his fintech group Ant Financial’s initial public offering, which would have been the largest listing in history...