Jack Ma, who went missing for months has resurfaced. He addressed teachers via livestream during an annual event he hosts to recognize rural educators. He is the co-founder of Alibaba and Ant. He kept out of public view since early November when Chinese regulators torpedoed Ant’s $35 billion IPO, tightened fintech regulations and also ordered an overhaul of Ant and an antitrust probe into Alibaba.
This assault on Ma’s trillion dollar corporate empire encapsulates a broader campaign to rein in a generation of Chinese tech giants that Beijing views as wielding too much control over the world’s No2 economy. Both Ant and Alibaba have borne the brunt of the assault since November. It has been reported that Ma was advised by the government to stay in the country as Beijing has in the past quietly detained billionaires who run afoul of the law without an immediate trial.