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After a long disappearance from sight, the founder of “Alibaba” appears publicly in China


After months spent by “Jack Ma” traveling and out of sight, the founder of the giant Chinese Internet trade company “Alibaba” has reappeared in China. Are there signs that Beijing will loosen its tight grip on the tech sector?

The founder of the Chinese giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has reappeared publicly in China after months of traveling abroad. On Monday, he visited a school in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, where his company is headquartered.

Ma founded e-commerce company Alibaba in the 1990s and was once China’s richest man. But he has kept a low profile and reduced public appearances since November 2020, after he had publicly criticized China’s financial supervisory authorities and systems during a speech in Shanghai.

Shortly thereafter, authorities froze the initial public offering of Alibaba’s financial subsidiary, Ant Group, which was set to raise $34.5 billion in what would have been the world’s largest stock offering at the time. Later, Alibaba was investigated and fined $2.8 billion for violating antitrust rules, at a time when the Chinese authorities imposed strict measures on the technology sector, which had a margin of freedom.

Ma has spent the past year traveling, with reports of him seeing him in Europe, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong.

On Monday, Ma visited Yeonggu School in Hangju, where he talked about new technologies such as ChatGPT. He also touched on his passion for learning.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beijing relieves pressure

The Chinese government is seeking to increase confidence in the private sector after the repressive regulatory measures it imposed on the sectors of technology, education, online games and financial companies, in addition to the strict restrictions imposed by China to limit the spread of the Corona virus, which led to a sharp slowdown in economic growth.

And earlier this month, China’s newly appointed Prime Minister Li Qiang sought to reassure entrepreneurs and investors by saying the government would provide “steady” support to the private sector. He said the commitment to that was “unequivocal and unwavering”.

Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba in 2019, saying he hoped to focus on charity. In January, Ma also ceded control of fintech company Ant, amid a share restructuring.

In the same month, a senior Chinese central bank official said that government pressure on the internet technology sector was “in principle over”.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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