New Delhi: Jack Ma, Alibaba and Ant co-founder, who had been reportedly missing for past few months, has resurfaced with a video in which he said, “We’ll meet again after the epidemic is over”.Also Read - Viral Video: Naughty Monkey Lifts Woman's Dress, She Swats His Hand Away. Watch
Jack Ma made the remarks in a video meeting with rural teachers in China on Wednesday, Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, a government-backed news website, reported. Also Read - Saree-Clad Women Perform Fusion Dance Merging Bharatanatyam & Hip-Hop, Set Internet on Fire | Watch
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In the 50-second video, Ma congratulated teachers supported by his charitable foundation and made no mention of his absence from public view and scrutiny of his Alibaba Group and Ant Group by regulators.
The video appeared on Chinese business news and other websites.
“Recently, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking. We made a firmer resolution to devote ourselves to education philanthropy,” he said in the video. “Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility for our generation of businessmen,” he added.
Reports quoted Jack Ma as wishing teachers and telling them that the event, usually held in Hainan, had to be online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We cannot meet in Sanya due to the epidemic,” he said in the speech, which did not discuss his whereabouts.
“When the epidemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!” he said in a hopeful tone.
Normally voluble and press-friendly, Ma was last seen in public after criticising financial regulators in an October 24 speech at a Shanghai conference. Days later, regulators suspended Ant’s planned multibillion-dollar stock market debut, prompting speculations on the internet about whether Ma, China’s biggest global business celebrity and a symbol of its tech boom, had been detained or might face legal trouble.
Some people suggested the ruling Communist Party was making an example of Ma to show hat even entrepreneurs couldn’t defy regulators. But finance experts said President Xi Jinping’s government was already uneasy about Alibaba’s dominance in retailing and Ant’s potential financial risks before Ma’s speech.
Anti-monopoly regulators warned executives of Alibaba and five other tech giants in December not to use their dominance to block new competitors from entering their markets. The central bank and other regulators have ordered Ant to overhaul its business before its market debut.
(With inputs from Agencies)