Jack Ma resurfaces online for the first time since China crackdown

Jack Ma
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Jack Ma

Highlights

Missing since October, when China began its crackdown on the business mogul, Alibaba and Ant Group co-founder Jack Ma made his first public appearance.

Missing since October, when China began its crackdown on the business mogul, Alibaba and Ant Group co-founder Jack Ma made his first public meeting, according to a Chinese government-backed media report. His reappearance was reported after he met with 100 rural teachers in China via video conference.

Ma, a poster artist and severe critic of the Chinese government, had come under scrutiny from the authorities in connection with an antitrust investigation.

One of the most prominent billionaires, the news of Jack Ma's disappearance had shocked the world. He also did not attend the filming of his own talent show's final episode, Africa's Business Heroes. His company, Alibaba, had said that Ma could not appear on the show due to a scheduling conflict.

Notably, the show took place in November, shortly after Ma "made a sincere speech criticizing China's regulators and its state banks."

Soon after, when China's main market watchdog launched an investigation into e-commerce giant Alibaba's alleged anti-competitive practices, the country also submitted a "rectification plan" for Ma's fintech company Ant Group.

As per a TechCrunch report, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, "convened Ant Group for regulatory talks on December 26" and set a five-point compliance agenda calling on the company to return to its roots in payments and more transparency in transactions.

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