Alibaba’s shares surge as Jack Ma makes first public appearance in three months

The entrepreneur said he has been ‘studying and thinking’ after rumors about his safety and whereabouts emerged

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma has eased the speculation about his safety and whereabouts as he resurfaced on Wednesday making his first public appearance after nearly three months.

Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a video meeting on Wednesday according to local government media. The video was published online by Tianmu News, a subsidiary of the Zhejiang government's official newspaper.

In the video Ma is seen telling teachers present in the meeting, that the traditional in-person celebration for the teaching initiative had been canceled because of Covid-19.

"We'll meet again after the epidemic is over," Ma stated.

 

Speculations about the billionaire’s whereabouts escalated in recent weeks as he had been last seen during a controversial speech in October where he critisised China’s financial regulatory system at a conference in Shanghai. Ma stressed on the fact that yesterday’s regulatory methods can’t be used to regulate the future and referred to the global financial regulations used by China as “an old people’s club.” He was also abruptly replaced as a judge on TV talent show Africa’s Business Heroes.

The ecommerce company’s shares jumped by 8.5% on Hong Kong’s Stock exchange after the video was published.

When Bloomberg and TechCrunch asked about the video’s authenticity Alibaba’s affiliate company Ant Group, confirmed that it’s authentic.

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