Alibaba and Ant Group founder Jack Ma is no longer the richest man in China. He is now in fourth place, trailing behind bottled water maker Nongfu Spring’s, Zhong Shanshan, Tencent Holding’s Pony Ma, and e-commerce upstart Pinduoduo’s Collin Huang, the latest list showed.
Ma and his family had held the top spot for China’s richest in the Hurun Global Rich List in 2020 and 2019.
His dethroning comes just after his empire was put under heavy scrutiny by the Chinese government.
It happened after he gave a speech on October 24 in which he blasted China’s regulatory system. This lead to the suspension of his Ant Group’s $37 billion IPO just days before the fintech giant’s public listing.
Regulators have since tightened antitrust scrutiny on the country’s tech sector, and has Alibaba taking much of the heat; the market regulator launched an official antitrust probe into Alibaba in December.
Ma then disappeared from the public eye for about three months, triggering frenzied speculation about his whereabouts. But then he re-emerged in January with a 50-second video appearance.