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Jack Ma makes public appearance after 'disappearing' for months

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 20): China tycoon and co-founder of the Alibaba and Ant Group has appeared in public for the first time after months of speculation about his whereabouts.

Ma was seen today in a video published by Chinese state media taking part in a public philanthropic event while speaking to teachers in a rural area.

According to a CNN report, the video was published by Tianmu News, a subsidiary of the Zhejiang province government's official newspaper. Reports stated that Zhejiang is where Hangzhou city is located, Alibaba’s base.

Tianmu News stated that the video was shot this morning, showing Ma telling the teachers that the “in-person celebration for the teaching initiative had been cancelled” owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, reported CNN.

"We'll meet again after the epidemic is over," Ma said in the video. Ma also visited an elementary school in Hangzhou earlier this month, which was shown in the video.

Ma was not seen in public view since about three months ago after Chinese authorities “moved” to shut down his fintech company Ant Group’s planned US$35 billion IPO followed by Beijing “tightening fintech regulations” and “targeting” Ma’s e-commerce business Alibaba with an “antitrust probe”, reported Forbes.

Bloomberg reported that the Chinese government’s actions came about after a speech by Ma given in October where he criticised and mocked the country’s regulators and state-owned banks, calling them “pawn shop” Chinese lenders and “old men” of the global banking community.

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