On Wednesday morning, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting in the businessman’s first impression since October. Jack Ma had not appeared in public since Oct 24 last year, where he blasted China’s regulatory system in a speech at a Shanghai forum that set him on a crash course with officials, leading to the suspension of a $37-billion IPO of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.
Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, backed by the provincial Zhejiang government, first reported that Ma had met with the teachers via a live video ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event. Ma’s public appearance comes as Alibaba plans to raise at least $5 billion through the sale of US dollar-denominated bonds this month.
In the 50-second video, dressed in a navy pullover, Ma addressed o the camera from a room with grey marble walls. It was not clear from the video or the article by Tianmu News where he was speaking from. He addressed teachers receiving the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award, in the ceremony organized by the Jack Ma Foundation in Sanya (A Chinese seaside city).
He said in his speech, “We cannot meet in Sanya due to the epidemic, when the epidemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!”