World, Economy, Asia - Pacific

Alibaba founder re-appears after months of silence

Jack Ma addresses rural teachers at virtual social welfare event after reports of his disappearance

Riyaz Ul Khaliq   | 20.01.2021
Alibaba founder re-appears after months of silence

ANKARA

After months of silence, Chinese magnate Jack Ma on Wednesday appeared addressing a forum of teachers amid probe into his businesses.

Jack virtually connected to Rural Teachers Award ceremony participated by at least 100 teachers.

The news was first broke by Tianmu News site based in east China's Zhejiang province, where Alibaba is headquartered, and soon after, the shares of Alibaba rose in the stock market.

Jack himself was an English teacher who later turned to entrepreneurship and built Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we could not meet this year in Sanya," Jack told the event in a video footage run by daily South China Morning Post.

The Jack Ma Foundation since 2015 has held the event in the Sanya city of South China's Hainan province during the Chinese Laba Festival celebrated in the country.

"But our promise holds -- our respect of the teachers has never changed," Jack added, paying gratitude to 2.9 million rural teachers of China.

Management leaders of Jack’s Ant Group, an offshoot of Alibaba, were questioned by China’s financial regulatory authorities on Nov. 2 last year when Ant was planning dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets.

The probe came amid China’s stricter investigations into internet-based monopolies.

Jack has been silent ever since and many reports had emerged that he might have been detained by the Chinese authorities.

Last time it was in October 2020 that Jack was in limelight when he described traditional banks as operating with a “pawn shop” mentality at the Bund Summit in Shanghai, the daily Global Times reported.

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