Jack Ma seen in public for the first time since October’s ‘disappearance’

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  • Jack Ma finally emerges in public after weeks of speculations on his whereabouts
  • He disappeared in October shortly after the record-breaking IPO of his Ant Group
  • Ma has been critical of Chinese ‘outdated’ financial system

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma has finally appeared in a public event after his mysterious disappearance more than two months ago following a regulatory crackdown by authorities on tech companies.

Ma vanished from the public eye in October just days after the scheduled IPO listing of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group with the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. The listing was eventually pulled out at the last minute after pressure from Chinese regulators.

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On Wednesday, however, Ma was seen in a video making a speech before teachers in the rural part of China during an annual awarding ceremony.

The video was published on the social media page of Tianmu News, a Chinese financial news outlet and a subsidiary of Zhejiang government’s official newspaper.

“My colleagues and I are even more determined to devote ourselves to education and public welfare,” transcript of his speech read. “China has entered a new stage of development, and is moving towards common prosperity.”

Following Ma’s appearance, Alibaba’s shares went up by 7 percent in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

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The Chinese tycoon is one of the China’s richest with an estimated wealth of $58-B. He has been critical of the communist country’s outdated financial system which made his company a target of the government’s increasing clampdown on tech firms.

Alibaba has since  been facing investigation for allegedy violating anti-trust regulation.

In his speech during Ant Group’s record-breaking $37 billion IPO, Ma criticized the Chinese government for its ‘pawnshop mentality’ and for suppressing innovation in the financial system.

He was later summoned by Chinese authorities days later and was never seen for weeks. The IPO was eventually blocked by the government and his whereabouts then became the subject of many speculations and conspiracy theories.

Billionaire Jack Ma suspected missing for months after he criticized China’s financial system