Jack Ma Appears for the First Time in Months in Short Video, Alibaba Shares Jump 5%

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Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma has made his first public appearance of 2021, resulting in a 5% jump in Alibaba shares, after more than two months of laying low.

A brief appearance: During an online conference on Jan. 20, the billionaire appeared in a 50-second video to address 100 rural teachers from across China, Markets Insider reports.

  • Ma, a former English teacher, created this conference in 2015 to acknowledge outstanding educators in rural areas.
  • Ma pushed for the return of younger educators to rural areas in order to decrease income disparities, according to Bloomberg.
  • “Recently, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking. We made a firmer resolution to devote ourselves to education philanthropy. Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility for our generation of businessmen,” Ma says in the video.
  • The authenticity of the video has been confirmed by a spokesperson for the Jack Ma Foundation to Insider.

Alleged reason behind Ma’s disappearance: Before this recent videoconference, Ma kept a low-profile for months.

  • Many people believe he made this decision after publicly criticizing China’s regulatory system during a speech at a Shanghai forum last October, according to Reuters.
  • Ma claimed that regulatory decisions have stifled innovation, and his comments did not go unnoticed.
  • Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group soon faced the suspension of a $37 billion IPO because of Chinese regulators. According to The Australian Financial Review, these regulators also organized an overhaul of Ant.
  • Due to Ma’s mysterious disappearance, many investors grew worried, resulting in a loss of billions of dollars off Alibaba’s market cap.

Aftermath of the video: After Ma’s reappearance, Alibaba shares jumped 5% at market open, according to Markets Insider.

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  • Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares also increased by as much as 8.5% as of this writing, adding around $60 billion to Alibaba’s value.
  • Reuters reported that Ma’s return had a positive effect on investors, especially those in Hong Kong.
  • Steven Leung, the sales director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong, said, “Jack Ma’s reappearance has given investors peace of mind after a lot of rumours, allowing them to pile into the stock which had been a laggard in the market.”
  • Several social media users on Weibo also discussed the topic “Jack Ma makes his first public appearance,” and Ma’s video address quickly went viral.

Feature Image via @globaltimesnews

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