The founder of Chinese tech giant Alibaba was featured in a digital event addressing 100 rural teachers. They received an award named after him. Both the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Group confirm that Ma took part in the video call, Reuters news agency reports.
In a 47-second recording of the video, Ma looks straight into the camera and promises, among other things, to meet the teachers again in real life. It is unclear where the video was shot, Ma does not provide any text or explanation.
Initial public offering called off after criticism
Ma’s absence occupied media worldwide for months. His last public appearance was on October 24 with a speech in Shanghai, in which he strongly criticized regulators in China. According to Ma, there is a ‘pawnbroker mentality’ in China and this risk-averse behavior is holding back innovation, NPR reported in November.
The tension caused by this speech led Chinese authorities to block Ant Group’s planned IPO. At this IPO, Alibaba’s finance arm appeared to be raising $ 35 billion. This would have made it the largest IPO ever.
Absent from TV and Twitter
The billionaires’ absence came to light when he shone through an absence from his own entrepreneurial talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes. His photo was also taken from the program’s site.
No sign of life has been heard from him on Twitter since the end of October. It is unclear why Ma has not been heard from for so long. He does not explain this in his video speech.