The disappearance of Jack Ma after a critical speech at the end of October has caused much speculation. Now the Alibaba founder has appeared in public again for the first time – in a video message at an annual event of his educational foundation.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s video message is only about 50 seconds long. It is the first public sign of life of the Chinese, who had disappeared from the scene since the end of October.
What happened so far
During a speech, Ma had sharply criticized Chinese economic and financial policies. He described the financial world as having “the mentality of a pawnshop.
The Chinese government’s retaliation followed on its heels: at the beginning of November, the planned IPO of the financial subsidiary Ant Group was canceled at the last minute. Experts had expected the IPO to be the world’s largest ever.
Shortly afterwards, the Chinese antitrust authorities also intervened. The accusation: monopoly violations. And Jack Ma suddenly disappeared from the jury at a casting show for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Silence reigned ever since
In the coming months, it was unusually quiet around the otherwise rather bustling billionaire. The media hotly debated his disappearance. There was even speculation about imprisonment.
Then, at the beginning of January 2021, the first all-clear came: as CNBC reports, Jack Ma is not missing. He had merely withdrawn and gone into hiding.
Now the entrepreneur has broken his silence himself. In his video message, he speaks out at an event organized by his education foundation and addresses 100 teachers in rural areas. He said he wanted to do even more for charitable causes than before.
“I have been learning and reflecting with my colleagues these days. We are now even more determined to devote ourselves to education and charity.”
Even after the video message, however, we can only continue to speculate about his whereabouts. He speaks in a room with gray marble walls and a striped carpet – nothing more can be seen.
The Alibaba share rejoices
For the stock market, the long-awaited sign of life from the 56-year-old is naturally a reason to rejoice. Investors breathed a sigh of relief, and the share price on the Hong Kong trading floor temporarily rose by six percent.
A clever move by the entrepreneur, because Alibaba wants to raise at least five billion US dollars with the sale of a dollar-denominated bond. Whether Ma’s alleged disappearance was overstated or not, the reassurance of investors is probably just in time, at least for this project.