Alibaba Founder Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance Since October

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has made his first public appearance since October after questions swirled about his whereabouts.

According to Chinese state media, the tech billionaire appeared via video link at the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award ceremony on Wednesday, meeting with teachers from across the Middle Kingdom.

Questions about his whereabouts sprung from his no-show as a judge on his own entrepreneurial talent TV series, Africa’s Business Heroes, in November, just weeks after he was quoted in a press release as saying that he was looking forward to meeting the candidates.

His disappearance was linked to a frank speech he made last October at the Bund Summit in Shanghai, in which he was critical of regulators for stifling innovation and said Middle Kingdom banks have a “pawnshop mentality.” His address reportedly upset Chinese officials.

Global Times carried this video of Ma’s public appearance:

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