Decoding the story of the disappearance of China’s richest man


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How does the richest man of the most populous nation on the planet disappear? In October 2020, Jack Ma, a former English teacher and contemporary tech mogul, was China’s richest man. A billionaire many times over, Ma was held up as a visionary, an example of a rags-to-riches story which proved that the past 30 years of economic reforms in China were a success. By the evening of November 2, 2020, Ma had all but disappeared. Let’s start at the beginning. Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Ma became an English lecturer at the local university. He founded his first internet-based company...