Alibaba Shares Jump 7% After Billionaire Jack Ma Makes First Appearance In Three Months
Many were worried when Jack Ma disappeared, but with the billionaire’s reappearance came a significant share jump for Alibaba.
Jack Ma is an incredibly successful business magnate, and when he vanished from the public eye in October after criticising the policies of the Chinese government, many were concerned. His disappearance coincided with the government placing new regulations on business.
It is unclear whether Ma removed himself from public life because of new government sanctions, or if there was a more personal reason. Nonetheless, many were pleased to see the businessman resurface for a video conference.
The billionaire resurfaced to speak to 100 rural teachers as part of the annual Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award, briefly discussing the award and its focus for just under a minute. After that, the awards resumed without him. Despite his very brief appearance, shares in his company, Alibaba, increased by 8%.
While it may seem odd that people were concerned about the businessman’s whereabouts, given that he did not attend a taping of a TV program he created and he condemned Chinese officials, there were reasons to worry about their wellbeing. Although Ma has now been seen alive and well, his company will still face challenges in the near future.
Alibaba is a huge e-commerce company that has a role in retail and technology. Due to its size and influence, many in China believe that the company should be regulated. This belief runs contrary to Ma, who idealises a self-regulating market.
Business and technology reporter Li Yuan wrote in The New York Times about the position that the company finds itself in:
Today, Alibaba and its archrival, Tencent, control more personal data and are more intimately involved in everyday life in China than Google, Facebook and other American tech titans are in the United States. And just like their American counterparts, the Chinese giants sometimes bully smaller competitors and kill innovation.
You don’t have to be a member of the Communist Party to see reasons to rein them in.
With the continued growth of Alibaba, it appears that China has been unable to rein in the company despite Ma becoming more elusive. Whether China will now take further action to stop developing monopolies, remains to be seen.
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