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Alibaba Shoots Up 8.5% As Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance In Months

Benzinga logo Benzinga 1/20/2021 Shivdeep Dhaliwal
Jack Ma wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by Benzinga Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) shares traded nearly 8.5% higher in Hong Kong at press time after the company’s founder Jack Ma made an online public appearance after months.

What Happened: Ma met 100 rural teachers through videoconferencing on Wednesday morning, Reuters reported.

The entrepreneur had not been seen in public since Oct. 24 after he criticized China’s regulatory system at a summit in Shanghai.

The Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Group confirmed that he had attended the online event, as per Reuters.

The online event reportedly took place in lieu of a program related to the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award. The award was previously presented in Sanya, on China’s Hainan island.

“When the epidemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!,” Ma said.

Qingqing Chen, the chief reporter of China’s state-affiliated Global Times newspaper posted a video of Ma, first noted on Bloomberg.

Why It Matters: No information regarding his whereabouts was disclosed by Ma, a former English teacher himself.

Alibaba and its subsidiary Ant Group have been at the center of an antitrust probe by Chinese regulators who are looking into monopolistic practices. 

The probe is said to have begun after Ma’s speech. Ant Group’s mega IPO was scuttled by Beijing soon after the Alibaba founder spoke in Shanghai.

See Also: China President Xi Jinping Personally Ordered Halt Of Jack Ma's Ant IPO: WSJ

Price Action: Alibaba shares closed nearly 3.7% higher at $251.65 on Tuesday and gained 0.42% in the after-hours session. 

Photo courtesy: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia

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