File photo of Alibaba co-founder and chief Jack Ma. Photograph:( Reuters )
Ma's disappearance had fuelled speculation over his safety, however, the Alibaba Group claimed it was "schedule conflict".
Alibaba founder Jack Ma made his first public appearance after disappearing from public view a few months ago after criticising Chinese banking rules in a speech in Shanghai on October 24.
China's state-run Global Times tweeted a video informing that Jack Ma showed up at a rural teacher-themed social welfare event via video link on Wednesday. The ceremony is an annual event launched by the Jack Ma Foundation in 2015, Global Times informed.
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
Ma's disappearance had fuelled speculation over his safety, however, the Alibaba Group claimed it was "schedule conflict". "Ma could no longer be part of the finale judge panel of Africa’s Business Heroes earlier this year (2020)," it said.
Ma, the actual controller of Alibaba fintech offshoot Ant Group, and Ant management were summoned for talks by the country's top financial regulatory authorities on November 2, just before Ant's planned dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The regulatory interview preluded a series of toughening moves that have seen the regulators call a halt to what was expected to be a record-smashing IPO, Global Time said.
Ant Group has established a rectification working team and is formulating a timeframe for overhaul its services, according to Global Times.