SHANGHAI: Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting on Wednesday morning, in the businessman`s first appearance since October, triggering a sharp jump in the Hong Kong-listed shares of the e-commerce giant.
Social media speculation over the whereabouts of China`s highest-profile entrepreneur swirled this month after news reports that he missed the final episode of a TV show featuring him as a judge, amid a regulatory clampdown by Beijing on his sprawling business empire.
Ma had not appeared in public since Oct. 24, where he blasted China`s regulatory system in a speech at a Shanghai forum that set him on a collision course with officials, leading to suspension of a $37-billion IPO of Alibaba`s financial affiliate Ant Group.
Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, which is backed by the provincial Zhejiang government, first reported that Ma had met with the teachers via a live video conference on Wednesday. During his interaction, Ma assured the teachers that they “will meet again.’’
The Jack Ma Foundation said that Ma participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on Wednesday….