Beijing: From Jack Ma to Bao Fan, several business magnates have disappeared from China decimating the profit and undermining Beijing's new priority of restoring business confidence following the end of its "zero-COVID" policy and crackdowns on the private sector, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Bao Fan, China's tech industry rainmaker is CEO of China Renaissance firm, whose shares have also plummeted ever since he vanished.

Bao, like many others in China's tech industry, believed in the free market and desired little government intervention. However, the Chinese government, led by Xi Jinping, tightened its grip on the economy. It was necessary for the technology industry to adapt, the report further read.

Last week on Valentine's Day, rumours began to circulate that Bao had gone missing. His disappearance was later confirmed by his company in a regulatory filing. According to Chinese media, the authorities summoned him to assist in the investigation of a former senior executive of his company who previously worked at a state-owned financial institution.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, his vanishing can undermine the government's promise to support private enterprise and provide legal protections for the business class.

Even if Bao reappears soon, the episode shows how China's tech industry, once the country's most globalised and independent sector, has become entangled with the government.

In 2020, Bao appointed Cong Lin, the CEO of ICBC International, as chairman of China Renaissance's brokerage business. Cong became the subject of a government investigation last September in connection with his dealings prior to joining China Renaissance. Around the same time, he left the company.

Even without this issue, Bao had a bad year in 2022. His company, China Renaissance's revenue fell by 40 per cent in the first six months of last year, and the company lost $US23 million, compared to a $US179 million profit the previous year.

China Renaissance's share price has dropped by more than 20 per cent since the news of Bao's disappearance broke.

Last October, on National Day, Bao wrote on WeChat, "Warm congratulations on the 73rd anniversary of the People's Republic of China!" His company created a red digital card for the occasion. It was most likely not something Bao would do in the past.

Not only has the government become hostile to the business community. Some users on the social media platform Weibo claimed that Bao's disappearance demonstrated his greed and lack of judgement.

Last Saturday marked the 26th anniversary of the death of Deng Xiaoping, China's former supreme leader. Some people paid tribute to him by writing articles or posting on social media, recalling the days when China was opening up to the world and its leaders were focused on building the economy.

One famous article about Bao was also nostalgic. Its headline read, "Would Bao Fan want to remain in 2016?" That was the pinnacle of Bao's career. Many people believe it was also the peak of China's tech industry, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.