Shares of internet giant Alibaba jumped Wednesday as billionaire Jack Ma was seen in public for the first time in three months after he went mysteriously missing in October 2020 after criticising Chinese government.
According to the reports, Alibaba stocks soared more than eight per cent on Wednesday. There was massive speculation about his whereabouts after the Chinese billionaire, with a fortune estimated at around $58 billion, had disappeared from the public after criticising the government and President Xi Jinping.
Shortly, after his appearance, Alibaba’s share picked up the price and soared 8.5 percent to HK$265.00 in Hong Kong.
According to Bloomberg’s analysis, after Alibaba’s market cap jumped by $58 billion, 5.5 per cent, closing at 265.49 on the New York Stock Exchange. China’s JD.com (JD), Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), Pinduoduo (PDD), and Baidu (BIDU) were also impacted by Ma’s reappearance. JD.com leaped 4.6 per cent to 95.31, another firm Baidu climbed only 4.2 per cent to 260.90.
Shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd climbed to 2.5% to 88.07 and Pinduoduo’s went up to 1.3 per cent to 170.96. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong trended the highest ever since April 2019, and Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index reached its highest level in three years. China’s Ministry of Commerce reported online retail sales value of goods jumped 14.8 per cent to $1.5 trillion.
On Wednesday, Chinese state media Global Times released a video wherein Jack Ma made a stunning reappearance.
Jack Ma Yun, the English teacher turned entrepreneur and former executive chairman of #Alibaba, showed up at a rural teacher-themed social welfare event via video link on Wed, his first public appearance since Alibaba came under tougher regulatory scrutiny.https://t.co/VXywPHEeyv pic.twitter.com/DKCXhASIhu— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 20, 2021
As per Global Times’ claims, the Alibaba founder showed up at a rural teacher-themed social welfare event via video. The Chinese government mouthpiece claimed that Jack Ma had attended the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award ceremony, an annual event launched by the Jack Ma Foundation in 2015.
Jack Ma address public, praises China’s poverty alleviation efforts and China’s ‘leadership’
As per the report, Ma addressed 100 rural teachers across China and said he would meet them once the Chinese coronavirus pandemic was over.
In the speech, Ma praised China’s poverty alleviation efforts, a central target of the Communist leadership, and vowed to dedicate more efforts towards helping rural teachers. “My colleagues and I… are even more determined to devote ourselves to education and public welfare,” he said,
A spokesperson for the Jack Ma Foundation, said that Ma had participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event. The Alibaba group and Ant have reportedly reassured the Chinese authorities of positive co-operative relating to Chinese regulations.
Jack Ma mysteriously disappeared soon after criticising Chinese govt
The business tycoon had been mysteriously missing after he made disparaging statements against Communist-ruled China’s government and was reported off the radar by several Chinese run media outlets.
Ma had gone on a tirade against China’s current banking system, the financial regulatory structure of the Communist-ruled country and how it was unsuitable for his fintech giant, Ant group. Ma’s critical remarks for the Communist regime, which demands nothing more than complete and utter obedience, terminated the planned IPO of his fintech giant, Ant Group, on November 3, just two days before it was scheduled to begin trading.
Days after his unflattering opinion of the Chinese authorities, Ma was summoned to a meeting with Communist Party officials. His other venture, Alibaba is also under investigation for monopolistic behaviour, as per a statement released by the Chinese Communist Party’s market supervision arm.
Ma’s disappearance from the public sphere is a part of a bigger design by the CCP to exact compliance and loyalty from individuals who hold great sway in shaping public opinion. It is apposite to note that Jack Ma is not the first high-profile man to have disappeared out of a thin air.
China, under President Xi Jinping, has been ruthless against its critics and has unleashed a drive to arrest all the dissidents of the regime. In March a property tycoon had disappeared after he called President Xi Jinping a ‘clown’ for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Ren Zhiqiang a billionaire financier, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he ‘voluntarily and truthfully confessed’ to various crimes of corruption.
Similarly, Xian Jianhua, a billionaire financier, was snatched from a Hong Kong hotel in 2017 and taken to the mainland.