After months of disappearance, Jack Ma has finally re-emerged.
This morning (20 Jan 2021), he met 100 rural teachers in China through a live video conference. He told the teachers that Laba Festival the group will convene in Sanya (in the tropical resort island of Hainan). However the pandemic prevented them from doing so this year – and he looks forward to meeting them again when the pandemic is over.
Even since Jack Ma made that speech on 24 October challenging the regulators in China, an avalanche of events followed: Beijing regulators summoned key Ant executives before the IPO, Ant IPO shelved, regulators launched coordinated investigations on both Alibaba and Ant. And Ma, who loves media (and invested in many new media platforms in China), did not appear during this whole ordeal.
We have been arguing that things would be fine. The government has no incentive to harm Alibaba as a business. Certain concerns had to be addressed. Jack Ma and Alibaba just needed to know their place, and cooperate well with the authorities.
I even made a video to explain these points:
Now the real reason for his disappearance might or might not be known to the outside world very soon. A lot of theories are circulating around in the Chinese tech community, including he was cooperate with the government to catch a bigger fish.
In the meantime, Alibaba shareholders already have a big sigh of relief: