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.

You can watch the video clip below: 

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:

 

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.

 

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Jianggan Li is the Founder & CEO of Momentum Works. Prior to founding Momentum Works, he co-founded Easy Taxi in Asia, and served as Managing Director of Foodpanda. The two years running Rocket Internet companies has given him a lifetime experience on supersonic implementation, and good camaraderie with entrepreneurs across the developing world. He holds a MBA from INSEAD (GMAT 770) and a degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University. Unfortunately he never wrote a single line of code professionally - but in his first job he was in media, travelling extensively across Asia & Europe, speaking with Ministers & (occasionally) Prime Ministers. Apart from English and his native Mandarin, he is also fluent in French and conversational in Cantonese & Spanish. He tried to learn Latin (for three years) and Sanskrit (for six months) as well. In his (scarce) free time, he reads, travels, hikes and dives. Pyongyang, Tehran & Chisinau are among the interesting cities he has been to.