Saturday, May 25, 2024

Jack Ma makes his first public appearance since the cancellation of Ant’s IPO

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Jack Ma has resurfaced in a short video online praising Chinese teachers, marking the first time the billionaire has been seen in public since the dramatic suspension of Ant Group’s initial planned $ 37 billion public offering.

Chinese tech entrepreneur and founder of e-commerce group Alibaba withdrew from public view after criticize the country’s regulators and state-owned banks in late October, prompting speculation about its location. Following the speech, Mr. Ma was dressed by officials in Beijing and regulators halted the IPO of Ant, the payment company he controls, which was to be the largest ever.

Mr Ma too skipped the shoot of a talent TV show he created for African entrepreneurs in November, which he was due to judge.

“My colleagues and I have studied and reflected, and we have become more determined to devote ourselves to education and public welfare,” Ma said, according to local media. The video was uploaded on Wednesday.

Mr. Ma’s video arrived as Alibaba faced a antitrust investigation which has reached its share price and the tech group is trying to raise billions of dollars in a bond offer.

Hong Kong-traded Alibaba shares rose 6.3% after the video was released.

Mr. Ma said that it was the “duty and responsibility of our generation of business owners” to support teachers and education in rural China.

A spokesperson for the Jack Ma Foundation said that Mr. Ma had “participated in the online ceremony of the annual rural teachers initiative event on January 20”.

His charitable foundation has focused over the past year on Covid-19 relief efforts in China and around the world. Mr. Ma has been hailed as a hero in Africa for donating medical supplies to the continent.

Additional reporting by Nian Liu in Beijing


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