Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma has not seen in public in more than two months. He was supposed to appear in the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, in November. The reality show gives the African entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their talent and win US $1.5 million.

According to a spokesperson of Alibaba, Ma failed to appear on the show “due to a schedule conflict”.

On October 24, Ma had delivered a controversial speech in Shanghai, criticising Chinese government for posing challenges to innovation and compared the global banking rules to an “old people’s club”.

“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age. We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system,” Ma had said in the speech.

The controversial speech resulted in the suspension of Ant’s IPO. The Shanghai Stock Exchange said Ant had reported “significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment”.

According to American investor Mark Mobius, the suspension was meant to curtail the growth of the financial institutions.

“I believe the Chinese government stepped in because they realised that they had to regulate these companies, so that they don’t … get too big. The Chinese government is waking up to the fact that they cannot allow these companies that dominate a particular sector and particularly the financial sector,” he told CNBC.

In December, the Chinese authorities had launched an anti-monopoly investigation against Alibaba in late December, asking the Ant Group to restructure its operations.