By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — After rumors and speculation swirled that Jack Ma was allegedly missing, the Alibaba founder and Chinese billionaire has resurfaced in an online video.
After Ma’s reappearance video was shared online Wednesday, Alibaba stock soared by more than 7%. It had pulled back a bit by Thursday morning but was still up more than 4%.
Ma was last seen in public in November. Sources previously confirmed to ABC News that Ma was fine and keeping a low profile. Rumors quickly swirled online, however, that he was missing after he spoke out against China’s financial system and regulations at a Shanghai business forum on Oct. 24.
“What we need is to build a healthy financial system, not systematic financial risks,” he said at the forum. “To innovate without risks is to kill innovation. There’s no innovation without risks in the world.”
In attendance was China’s Vice Premier Liu He, one of the country’s top economic leaders.
After his comments, Chinese regulators put a hold on the much-hyped initial public offering of Ant Group, an Alibaba-affiliated financial technology firm.
Ma, meanwhile, was not seen in public for months — until his video appearance on Wednesday.
In the 50-second video, Ma spoke with 100 rural teachers for an awards ceremony honoring rural educators.
The video was first reported by Tianmu News, a news service run by one of China’s largest publishers, the Zhejiang Daily Group.
In the short video, Ma congratulated the award-winning teachers and promised to “meet” them again when the pandemic is over.
Ma has a net worth of more than $54 billion, according to Bloomberg’s real-time data on billionaires.
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