Alibaba founder Jack Ma has made his first appearance today since disappearing from the public eye in October, driving up shares in the e-commerce giant.
Speaking to a group of teachers over a video call, Ma eased concerns over his absence following Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on his e-commerce empire.
Alibaba has been subject to an antitrust investigation launched last month as part of China’s pursuit of anticompetitive behaviour.
Despite this, Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped more than 8.5 per cent.
The former teacher turned billionaire also has plans to raise $5b through the sale of a US dollar-denominated bond this month.
Speculation over Ma’s whereabouts had been mounting after the tech tycoon mysteriously disappeared from his role as a judge on Africa’s Business Heroes, a Dragon’s Den-style TV show for entrepreneurs.
It came weeks after the Alibaba boss made a speech criticising Chinese state banks and regulators.