Alibaba’s Jack Ma has returned, and he’s waving a white
After almost three months of disappearance from the public
eye— that raised concerns over his well-being after a dispute with Chinese
government— the tech billionaire has made a virtual appearance in a joint
conference with rural teachers, congratulating them for receiving an award from
his philanthropic initiative.
“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,” he said in the virtual speech published in a Chinese
A representative of the Jack Ma Foundation also confirmed
that the billionaire attended a virtual ceremony of the yearly Rural Teacher Initiative
event on Wednesday, January 20th.
However, he refused to reveal the
details about his whereabouts for the past three months.
The controlled statements were opposite to Ma’s previous
public address in October, in which he criticized China’s economic watchdogs
for policies that inhibit innovations.
The Alibaba founder and Chinese tech entrepreneur learned the hard way that he
picked a fight with the wrong people! After his October’s controversial speech,
officials in Beijing created the IPO plans for Ant Group (Alibaba’s sister
company), and launched a corruption drive against multi-billionaire company Alibaba
– a ruthless reprisal drive against one of China’s leading tech companies and a
significant contributor to country’s economy.
His return to the public spotlight in a scheduled setting
such as the teachers’ awards speech – rather than a cringy apology- could
indicate that Ma’s terms with Chinese officials are still on the way towards
It’s not the first time a public personality has found their
self in a critical situation after getting in a dispute with the Chinese
Communist Party. In the past, their disappearances were often followed by a public
apology or quick court trials. Just like Jack Ma is missing is what we saw in headlines the other day in addition of Africa’s business heroes.
For example, Fan Bingbing— one of China’s most popular
celebrities— returned after a month-long mysterious disappearance, only to
admit his involvement in tax evasion and to give a massive fine.
However, Jack Ma neither apologized for his last statements
nor made any public statements about the communist party— most particularly,
scripted praises. He made positive remarks about the government’s poverty
reduction drive and said entrepreneurs such as himself are obligated to help
educational regulators in assisting teachers.
Check the Jack Ma’s video here:
He also promised to 100 award-receiving teachers that he
would meet them in Balmy Sanya, a famous vacation place in Southern China,
after the pandemic slowed down.
“When the pandemic has passed, we will definitely find a
time to make up everyone’s trip to Sanya, so see you then!” he said.
After his re-appearance on Wednesday, Alibaba shares increased
to around 9 percent in Hong Kong.
Jack Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba in 1999;
the company emerged into a successful Chinese version of Amazon, with an annual
income of $50 billion. Ma rose to popularity as a successful billionaire
entrepreneur in China, who also helped in establishing a positive image of the
country by indulging in several philanthropic activities with collaboration
with the UN.
Founded in 2014, Ant Group is a sister company of Alibaba.
Now, Ma is alive and well. People are wondering where he had
been the last three months. Guess we will never know!
Here’s how people are reacting to his return to the
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world and let’s see if he returns to his TV program for good.