Missing for months, Jack Ma emerges for first time, addresses virtual conference
Beijing, Jan 20: Amid intense speculation over his whereabouts after being away from public view for a lengthy period, Alibaba and Ant co-founder Jack Ma has re-emerged, addressing 100 rural teachers in China over video conference on Wednesday, 20 January, Reuters reported, quoting local government media.
This is Ma's first appearance in public since October 2020, when regulators began clamping down on his business empire after a critical speech, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The executive had kept out of public view since early November, when Chinese regulators torpedoed Ant's $35 billion IPO, tightened fintech regulations, then ordered an overhaul of Ant and launched a separate antitrust probe into Alibaba -- all in a span of days.
Ma's last tweet was on 10 October last year.
An Alibaba spokesperson said Ma was unable to take part on the judging panel "due to a schedule conflict", according to reports.