On January 20th, 2021, Alibaba CEO and Founder Jack Ma made his first ever reappearance since his hiatus in October 2020. According to CNBC News (link to the CNBC YouTube video), Alibaba’s shares surged in Hongkong overnight up to 8.5%. Ma’s reappearance was recorded in a 50-second video clip during the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event where he “spoke to world teachers as part of his charity foundation.” The spokesperson for the Jack Ma Foundation has confirmed that Ma indeed participated in the said event.
There had been speculations about the whereabouts of Jack Ma since his hiatus in October 2020. It was remembered that Ma made some comments that appeared to be critical of China’s financial regulator. Again, according to CNBC News, “it was one of the reasons attributed to Chinese regulators pulling the plug on what would have been a record-setting initial public offering of Ant Group.” Ant Group is the financial technology giant the Ma founded.