Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group, delivered a video speech to over 100 rural Chinese teachers on Wednesday morning, marking his first public appearance in nearly three months after his controversial speech at a Shanghai financial forum on October 24.
According to a report by the Tianmu News, a news service run by the official Zhejiang Daily Group, Ma said in the video remarks that he has been "learning and thinking" and he concluded that Chinese entrepreneurs must serve the country's visions of "rural revitalisation and common prosperity".
The report included a 50-second video clip of Ma as well as the full transcript of his speech. The Jack Ma Foundation confirmed that Ma had participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on Wednesday.
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Jack Ma Yun, the English teacher turned entrepreneur and former executive chairman of #Alibaba, showed up at a rural teacher-themed social welfare event via video link on Wed, his first public appearance since Alibaba came under tougher regulatory scrutiny.https://t.co/VXywPHEeyv pic.twitter.com/DKCXhASIhu
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 20, 2021
"I have been learning and thinking in these days with my colleagues, and we're more committed than ever to education and charity," Ma said, according to the transcript.
The Alibaba founder has been out of public sight since he criticised China's financial regulatory system in the Shanghai speech. Following those remarks, Ma was summoned by China's regulators and an initial public offering by Alibaba affiliate Ant Group was suspended at the last minute.
Separately, China's market regulator launched an antitrust probe into Alibaba on December 24.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
Encouraging rural teachers to help rural children grow up healthily and happily.
The "Jack Ma Rural Teachers Initiative and Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award" was officially launched on September 16th, 2015. Every year, 100 outstanding rural teachers are shortlisted and granted RMB 100,000（USD 14,260） each to support rural education. Other benefits include three years of cash and professional growth support for awarded teachers to enhance their teaching skills, and to play an active role in helping rural children grow up healthily and happily.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Jack Ma's Yunfeng Capital leads US$315 million funding round for industrial e-commerce firm ZKH
- What is Jack Ma's Ant Group really worth as it markets the world's largest ever IPO? Key analysts say US$350 billion to US$450 billion
- Jack Ma: China's entrepreneurs must be ready for a globalised, digitalised world