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Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma resurfaces

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Chinese billionaire and founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma has resurfaced months after he was reported missing.

The philanthropist today addressed rural educators via livestream.

Two weeks ago, Speculation swirled around the whereabouts of Jack Ma after reports surfaced that the high-profile businessman has not made a public appearance in more than two months.

Jack Ma, Chinese billionaire goes missing

The Alibaba founder also failed to appear as scheduled in the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, which gives budding African entrepreneurs the chance to compete for a slice of US $1.5 million.

Ma was supposed to be part of the judging, but was replaced by an Alibaba executive in the November final, UK’s Telegraph reported. His picture was also taken off the website.

An Alibaba spokesperson said Ma was unable to take part on the judging panel “due to a schedule conflict”, according to Financial Times.

Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma.

Ma’s business empire, Ant Group, has been under scrutiny by Beijing ever since Ma delivered a controversial speech in Shanghai on 24 October that criticized China’s regulation system for stifling innovation and likened global banking rules to an “old people’s club”.

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“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age,” Ma said in the speech.
“We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system.”

Little over a week later, Ant’s IPO (valued at a record-setting US $37 billion or AU $48 billion), which had already received the green light from China’s securities watchdog, was suspended, with the Shanghai Stock Exchange saying Ant had reported “significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment”.

Ma has donated millions of face masks to Europe, the US and the World Health Organization in a bid to stem the pandemic.

The billionaire is also involved in charity work, with the Jack Ma Foundation focused on areas of education, entrepreneurship, female leadership, and the environment.

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