Jack Ma makes first public appearance after missing for months

After speculations that the co-founder of Alibaba and Ant Jack Ma has “disappeared”, the Chinese entrepreneur has resurfaced. According to a Bloomberg report, Ma “addressed teachers via a livestream Wednesday during an annual event he hosts to recognize rural educators”. A video of Ma was circulated online in which he reportedly said that he will spend more time on philanthropy. The authenticity of the video was later confirmed in an email by Ant.

Notably, Ma did not make a public appearance since October 24 and it was speculated that Ma’s comments at a TV show angered the Chinese government. The stocks of Alibaba gained four percent in Hong Kong as Ma reappeared. To recall, Ma made a speech criticising China’s regulators and its state-owned banks” in the show titled  ‘Africa Business Heroes’, where he was a judge.

Financial Times reported that Ma was replaced as a TV show judge in the final episode of the show following the episode, which led to rumors that Ma has disappeared. The report further pointed out that his photograph was “removed from the judging webpage, and he was conspicuously left out of a promotional video”. However, in response to this, a spokesperson from Alibaba said that Ma could not be a part of the finale judge panel of the show dues to “a schedule conflict”.

“Ma was dressed down by officials in Beijing and the $37 billion initial public offering of his company Ant Group was suspended. He has not been seen in public since,” the Financial Times report added. Jack Ma is among the wealthiest entrepreneurs in China. Also, his company is among the list of investors in Indian apps like Paytm, Policy Bazar, Oyo, etc.

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