Lest you’re not aware, Jack Ma has been out of the public for so long that people were starting to wonder if something happened to him.
Eventually, it was reported that he had been told to “lay low” after speaking up about the China authorities.
The man resurfaced yesterday (Jan 20) and spoke to about 100 teachers via an online conference. This was part of a yearly event he hosts which aims to praise the works of educators in the rural area.
However, the billionaire spoke for less than one minute. 50 seconds to be exact.
Alibaba Group has confirmed that Mr Ma attended the event, where he talked to the teachers getting the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award.
He said in his speech: “We cannot meet in Sanya due to the pandemic. When the pandemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!
“During this period, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking, and we have even more strongly devoted ourselves to the idea of educational philanthropy.”
The transcript of his mini-speech has since been published by one of China’s state-owned news agency, Tianmu News.
No one really knows where he was addressing the crowd from, by the way. He was dressed in a simple navy pullover amid a grey marble background and also a striped carpet.
Laying pretty low, indeed.
Why Has Jack Ma Been Holing Up?
Well, the buzz is that back in October 2020, the man said some things against the regulation system of China.
He had asked for a new regulation system to be put into order; one that would suit the current generation and its young people. He called the “old” regulation system outdated.
One week after stating this, the IPO of Ant Group, an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group, was suspended. The IPO is worth US$37 billion.
To top it off, Alibaba is also the prime focus in an antitrust investigation. This investigation started last month, and it involves Chinese authorities cracking down on anti-competitive patterns in the country’s Internet network – something, which by the way, is also happening in the US (though the companies are of course different).
And just by the mere mention of him coming back online, his Hong Kong stock has seen a spike of 6 per cent.
Featured Image: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com