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Alibaba’s Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance in 3 Months

Alibaba China China Business & Economy Jack Ma

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance in 3 Months

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SHANGHAI—Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma made his first public appearance since October 2020 on Wednesday when he spoke to a group of teachers by video, easing concern about his unusual absence from the limelight and sending shares in the e-commerce giant surging. Speculation over Ma’s whereabouts has swirled in the wake of news this month that he was replaced in the final episode of a reality TV show he had been a judge on, and amid a regulatory clampdown by Beijing on his sprawling business empire. The billionaire, who commands a cult-like reverence in China, had not appeared in public since Oct. 24, 2020, when he blasted China’s regulatory system in a speech at a Shanghai forum. That set him on a collision course with officials and led to the suspension of a blockbuster $37 billion IPO for Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group. Until then Ma often appeared in public, …

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