Jack Ma Reappears, Ends Rumors About His Plight; Alibaba Stock Soars

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Jack Ma
Jack Ma

Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and Ant Group, resurfaced in a new video after disappearing from public view for three months.

Mr. Ma avoided the public limelight since he criticized China’s regulatory system, His criticisms prompted the Chinese regulators’ crackdown on his companies. 

They stopped Ant Group’s proposed initial public offering (IPO) worth $34.5 billion, which is considered the world’s largest. They also ordered the fintech company to overhaul its business. Additionally, the Chinese regulators launch an antitrust investigation into Alibaba. 

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According to Bloomberg’s billionaires’ index, Mr. Ma was China’s richest person before he disappeared on October 24. His net worth was $61 billion. His fortune declined significantly due to the crackdown on his businesses. He lost $ 8 billion and is no longer country’s wealthiest person.  

Since his disappearance, many speculated that the Chinese government did something terrible to him just like what happened to other Chinese billionaires. There were speculations that Mr. Ma is in prison or dead.

On Wednesday, Mr. Ma participated in an online conference with rural teachers. His appearance ended all the negative speculations about his plight amid the intensifying scrutiny into his businesses by the Chinese government. 

Jack Ma’s re-emergence provided peace of mind to investors

During the online conference, Mr. Ma said,  “During this period of time, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking, and we have become more determined to devote ourselves to education and public welfare. Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility of our generation of businessmen.”

 “Jack Ma’s reappearance has given investors peace of mind after a lot of rumors, allowing them to pile into the stock which had been a laggard in the market, commented Steven Leung, the sales director of UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, Dan Kern, the chief investment officer of TFC Financial Management in Boston said, “It was good to see that Jack Ma has resurfaced – my assumption was that he decided (with some encouragement) to take a temporarily lower profile after making comments that annoyed the government. TFC Financial has stock holdings in Alibaba

The stock price of Alibaba increased 6% to $266.85 per share at the time of this writing around 3:30 p.m. in New York.

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