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Alibaba’s founder and billionaire Jack Ma is the first 100 rural teachers in three months since he last appeared in public in October 2020. It was revealed that people were greeted at an online conference, and the stock of the e-commerce giant in Hong Kong rose by more than 8%.

The video of this video call was first posted on a news portal sponsored by the Zhejiang Provincial Government in eastern China, where Alibaba is headquartered, and confirmed by an Alibaba spokeswoman.

Speculation swirled over Mr. Ma’s whereabouts after media reports in December 2020 that he did not participate in the recording of his television show. Known for his love of being in the limelight, his e-commerce empire Alibaba and fintech giant Ant Group have been increasingly targeted by Chinese authorities in recent months. It was.

When Mr. Ma finally appeared in public, he blamed China’s financial regulatory system in front of senior officials. According to media reports, his controversial remarks have led Chinese regulators to abruptly suspend Ant’s IPO, which was supposed to be the largest initial public offering in history.

Ant has since been working on restructuring and regulatory compliance under government direction. Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce platform, is also drawing attention as market regulators have begun investigating allegations of Alibaba’s antitrust violations.

Some say that Jack Ma’s recent crackdown on the Internet empire has shown a growing sense of insecurity in China’s ultra-rich and private-sector shadow powerhouses.

“Currently, Alibaba and its rival Tencent manage more personal information than US tech companies like Google and Facebook do in the country, and in China. And China’s giant tech companies, like similar companies in the United States, sometimes bully and drive small competitors and hinder innovation. ” , New York Times columnist Li Yuan wrote.

“Even if you’re not a member of the Communist Party, you know why you’re limiting them (tech companies),” he said.

In a 50-second clip, Mr. Ma speaks directly into the camera against a backdrop that looks like a decorative painting depicting a typical waterside town in Zhejiang. Art history books can be found in the pile of books, along with the flowers in the vase and the pottery figurines in the shape of a relaxing man.

Mr. Ma greets 100 teachers who have received the “Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award”, which was established by the Jack Ma Foundation to recognize outstanding rural teachers each year. went. It’s unclear where Mr. Ma was speaking from, but the video briefly shows him visiting a boarding school in rural Zhejiang on January 10, 2021. The award ceremony will be held online this year for a pandemic, Ma told the winners.

When Ma announced his retirement, he promised to return to his educator origins and spend more time on educational philanthropy, but he had considerable influence on the company as a lifelong partner of the mighty Alibaba Partnership. Keep holding. The legendary millionaire started his career as an English teacher in Hangzhou and is nicknamed “ambassador for rural teachers” by Weibo, the equivalent of Twitter in China.

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