Reports Claim Vicki Zhao Did “Something Worse Than Tax Evasion”; Hints That It Has Something To Do With Alibaba's Jack Ma
The plot thickens.
Since then, conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the 45-year-old actress-director — is she in her French vineyard with her husband or is she in Beijing with her parents? And where in the world is her 11-year-old daughter? — has only made netizens more curious to know what Vicki did to anger the Chinese government like that.
Netizens have likened Vicki's disappearance to Fan Bingbing’s back in 2018. The actress was MIA for months after being accused of tax evasion, and there was speculation that she had either flown to the US to seek asylum or was jailed and tortured by the Chinese government. Yikes.
It was later revealed that Bingbing had been under residential surveillance in Jiangsu.
What makes Vicki’s case even more perturbing is that no charges have been brought against her yet. Apparently, according to a source, her case is so serious that the government is keeping mum about it until they have completed their investigations.
The source also hinted that it’s “something worse than tax evasion”, adding that it’s “related to her close ties with Alibaba’s Jack Ma”.
So what about her relationship with Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba Group, who ran afoul of the Chinese government following his criticism of China’s financial and banking systems?
In 2014, Vicki and her husband Huang Youlong reportedly paid HK$3.1bil (S$536mil) to become the second largest shareholder of Alibaba Pictures Group. They were said to have made over HK$2.2bil (S$380mil) by selling a small portion of their shares.
In 2015, Vicki and Youlong are said to have partnered with Jack on a private equity deal and husband and wife were said to have cashed out immediately after share prices went up 150 per cent in a single month.
Vicki also reportedly bought HK$600mil (S$103mil) of shares in Alibaba’s financial service subsidiary, Ant Group, just last year, and she would have made a fortune had Ant gone public.
The source seems to suggest that Vicki is being investigated for possible insider trading and market manipulation, both of which are serious crimes in China.
Photos: PBE Media