Jack Ma Reappears Months After He Was Feared “Missing”

Alibaba Group Founder Jack Ma, who reportedly went missing last year in October, has appeared on Wednesday where he was seen addressing 100 rural teachers in China via a live video. His comeback triggered a sharp jump in the Hong Kong listed series of the e-commerce giant.

Jack Ma had not appeared in public since October after he criticized the Chinese government over its regulatory system in a speech at Shanghai forum that set him on a collision course with officials, leading to suspension of a $37-billion IPO of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.

Social media also erupted and speculations over his whereabouts swirled after news reports that he missed the final episode of a TV show featuring him as a judge.

Moreover, Alibaba confirmed Jack Ma attended the online event, which led to an immediate spike in their Hong Kong-listed shares.

In the 50-second video, Mr Ma, dressed in a navy pullover, spoke directly to the camera from a room. It was however not clear where he was speaking from. He addressed teachers receiving the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award, who in previous years would have attended a ceremony organised by the Jack Ma Foundation in the Chinese seaside city of Sanya.

It may mentioned that Alibaba is also a target of an antitrust investigation launched last month by Chinese authorities, who have in recent months accelerated a crackdown on anticompetitive behaviour in China’s booming internet space.

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