Jack Ma, China’s most recognizable entrepreneur and the co-founder of Alibaba Group, has resurfaced after months of being out of the public eye. Jack Ma had mysteriously ‘disappeared’ for months after Beijing’s aggressive crackdown on his business empire.
“#JUSTIN: #JackMa not disappear, here we go: Ma just had a video conference with 100 village teachers on Wednesday morning, saying: after #COVID19, we’ll meet each other again,” tweeted Qingqing Chen, Chief Reporter of Global Times News, a China state-affiliated media on Wednesday.
Ma, who used to be an English teacher and founder of #Alibaba, also gives wishes to village teachers via a video on Wednesday, saying usually the activity is held in Sanya in southern Hainan but this year, due to #Covid19 it has to be done via video conference. pic.twitter.com/yfi7oPB5Sb
— Qingqing_Chen (@qingqingparis) January 20, 2021
On Wednesday morning, the Alibaba and Ant co-founder – dressed in a navy pullover – met a 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting in his first appearance since October.
“Recently, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking. We made a firmer resolution to devote ourselves to education philanthropy,” Mr Ma said in the video, according to a Bloomberg report. “Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility for our generation of businessmen.”
News of Jack Ma’s reappearance instantly created a buzz on social media. Here is how Twitter reacted:
I was kind of hoping Jack Ma to have made a bigger entrance performing Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello, is it me you’re looking for.” But this will do.
— Alistair Wilson (@AlistairWilson) January 20, 2021
Jack Ma made his first public appearance after three months ,
People be like : pic.twitter.com/tXyaEx9GSK
— Oye_Chirag (@ChiragOye) January 20, 2021
— Cindy Wan (@CindyWan19) January 20, 2021
Jack Ma returns pic.twitter.com/CCNIu9EMGT
— cranko (@El_Cranko) January 4, 2021
LOST & FOUND. Once Jack ma was Lost, now he is Found #jackmamissing
— Santanu B. (@shan_calcutta) January 20, 2021
Over the last couple of months, Jack Ma’s disappearance from public life had prompted a flurry of memes and conspiracy theories on social media.
Mera paas Ma hai
Has a whole new connotation#JackMa
— KN Vaidyanathan (@KNVaidy) January 5, 2021
— Talk Radio Gold (@talkradiogold) January 18, 2021
A video of his lookalike had also gone viral online
— iSmartShivaa | ???????? | (@iSmartShivaa) January 14, 2021
According to Reuters, Ma’s public appearance comes as Alibaba plans to raise at least $5 billion through the sale of a US dollar-denominated bond this month.
Alibaba is also the target of an antitrust investigation launched last month by Chinese authorities, who have in recent months accelerated a crackdown on anticompetitive behaviour in China’s booming internet space.
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