By Jing Yang
Embattled billionaire Jack Ma made his first public appearance in nearly three months, speaking via a video link at a philanthropic event on Wednesday, according to a Chinese media report.
Spokespersons for the Jack Ma Foundation and Ant Group Co., the financial-technology giant that Ma controls, confirmed the report.
“Jack Ma participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on January 20,” the billionaire’s foundation said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.
Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares /zigman2/quotes/215112034/delayed HK:9988 +1.57% jumped on the news and were up 6% in Wednesday afternoon trading.
It was the first time Ma appeared in public since Oct. 24, when the founder of Alibaba /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA +0.33% and controlling shareholder of Ant made a controversial speech at a financial forum in Shanghai, criticizing regulators for stifling financial and technological innovation.
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