Jack Ma resurfaced for the first time since China’s government began clamping down on his business empire nearly three months ago, appearing in a live-streamed video that sent Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s stock soaring but left plenty of unanswered questions about the billionaire’s fate.
Ma spoke briefly on Wednesday during an annual event he hosts to recognize rural teachers. In one video of the event circulated online, China’s most famous entrepreneur can be seen touring a primary school in his hometown of Hangzhou. Ma, who had stayed out of public view since regulators suspended the initial public offering of his fintech company Ant Group Co., told the teachers he’ll spend more time on philanthropy. He didn’t mention his run-ins with Beijing.
Ant confirmed the authenticity of the video, first posted on an online blog, but declined to comment further. Shares of Alibaba, the e-commerce giant co-founded by Ma that owns about a third of Ant, jumped 8.5% in Hong Kong and were up almost the same level in pre-market U.S. trade.