Jul 16, 2021 • 40M

The strange disappearance of Alibaba's Jack Ma

Forbes Magazine journalist and FinTech expert George Calhoun gives the inside track on one of China's most enduring icons

Daniel Ross
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Interviews with the experts, entertainers and academics in the weird, wonderful and creative world of behavioural science.
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Welcome to all new readers of the Paths Less Trodden interview series. Join other smart, curious folks by subscribing here:

Paths Less Trodden is brought to you by Tshepo, one of South Africa’s most exciting and sought after fashion brands.

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I’m delighted to share the first of many podcasts where my guest’s voice is front and centre. I hope you enjoy the mix of written features and audio dialogues.

Today my interview guest is George Calhoun. George is the Executive Director of the Hanlon Financial Systems Research Centre at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey where he focuses on Quantitative Finance programs. He is now also the co-Principal for a recently awarded planning grant from the National Science Foundation to create an Industry/University Research Centre focused on FinTech.

George Calhoun

George is also the author of several books, and writes frequently for Forbes magazine on finance, with a particular interest in China.

That's where today's conversation takes us. George gives us the inside track on the strange and curious disappearance of Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma since he made THAT speech last October 24th.

In this episode, we cover:


- What has happened to Jack Ma and why has the world's largest ever IPO (The Ant Group) been cancelled?
- The various sightings of Jack from rural China to the golf course to Alibaba HQ
- The paradox of the Chinese government's behaviour
- What the future holds for Jack: prison, retirement, a comeback?
- The strange global media silence

We conclude with exciting FinTech news from George's university, the Stevens Institute of Technology, which has just been awarded a major grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to create a new national research centre on Fintech.

I really hope you enjoy! If you do, please subscribe so more unusual and thought provoking stories hit your inbox.


You can also subscribe to my podcasts via Apple iTunes on this link.


Next time, I will be sharing the story of James O’Malley who spent 15 years in the Royal Navy:

  • Leading counter-piracy operations in Somalia on behalf of the European Union

  • Leading a major project dealing with the Ebola crisis

  • Working as EU medical operations planner in volatile situations in Iraq, the Far East and Afghanistan

He recently led an expedition to Everest where he suffered a collapsed lung and nearly lost his life. 

Have a great weekend!

Daniel