Alibaba jumps 5% after billionaire Jack Ma appeared in a 50-second videoclip after weeks of laying low

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  • Alibaba rose 5% after Jack Ma resurfaced in a videoconference on Wednesday after weeks of laying low.
  • The billionaire founder could be seen addressing 100 rural teachers across China.
  • Ma seemed to embrace themes promoted by the ruling Communist Party, according to Bloomberg.
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Alibaba shares jumped 5% at market open as founder Jack Ma resurfaced in a 50-second video clip on Wednesday after he was suspected missing for weeks.

Ma’s live-streamed video sent Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares up by as much as 8.5%. In the video, he can be seen addressing 100 rural teachers as part of a ceremony that recognizes exceptional educators in impoverished areas.

“Recently, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking. We made a firmer resolution to devote ourselves to education philanthropy,” Ma said in the clip, according to Bloomberg. “Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility for our generation of businessmen.”

The billionaire, who is a former English teacher, seemed to embrace themes promoted by China’s Communist Party, Bloomberg said. He spoke about shrinking income disparities through a return of younger talent to rural areas.  

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A spokesperson for the Jack Ma Foundation told Insider Ma had participated in the event on January 20 and confirmed the authenticity of the video clip.

Ma had seemingly disappeared from public view about two months ago after he publicly snubbed China’s regulatory system, saying the nation’s rules do not help foster innovation. He even criticized regulatory decisions to enforce a set of international banking rules as an “old man’s club.” 

Soon after, China enacted new rules that clamped down on online financial lending, directly impact the lending business of Ma’s Ant Group. Regulators ordered Ant to overhaul its business and return to its origins as a payment service after officials accused the company of “turning a blind eye” to requirements

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Alibaba slides 3% as founder Jack Ma’s prolonged public absence raises eyebrows

Jack Ma
  • Alibaba fell as much as 3% on Monday as its founder Jack Ma’s prolonged absence from the public view raised eyebrows.
  • Ma has not been seen in public in more than two months and he was abruptly replaced as a judge on an African entrepreneurship TV show late last year.
  • Ma’s withdrawal from the public view comes as his companies Alibaba and Ant Group faces increased regulatory pressure from the Chinese government.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alibaba slid as much as 3% on Monday as its founder Jack Ma hasn’t been seen in public in more than two months.

Ma’s absence from the public view comes as the Chinese government has increased its regulatory pressure on Ant Group and Alibaba.

Ant Group’s planned November IPO was scrapped after Chinese authorities amped up its regulatory pressure on the fintech giant. The company is now back at the drawing board in terms of adopting significant regulations it must become compliant with, potentially altering its business model.

Alibaba has also faced an increase in regulatory pressures recently. A probe into the e-commerce giant’s seller exclusivity tactics was opened in December as the company is now being investigated by authorities for antitrust violations. 

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The ramp up in regulatory pressure in Ma’s businesses came weeks after Ma criticized China’s financial regulatory system at a conference in Shanghai. Ma reportedly dismissed the China’s global financial regulations as “an old people’s club” and said that “we can’t use yesterday’s methods to regulate the future.”

Ma has not been seen in public in more than two months and he was abruptly replaced as a judge on an African entrepreneurship TV show he founded late last year, called Africa’s Business Heroes, according to a report from Yahoo Finance. 

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Alibaba sinks 18% in worst day ever after Chinese regulators open antitrust investigation

Jack Ma
  • Alibaba suffered its worst trading day ever on Thursday after Chinese regulators opened an antitrust investigation into the e-commerce giant.
  • Alibaba fell as much as 18% in Thursday trades, far outpacing its previous record one-day decline of nearly 9% in 2015. 
  • Watch Alibaba trade live here.

Alibaba suffered its worst one-day decline ever since going public in 2014 after Chinese regulators opened an antitrust investigation into the e-commerce giant.

Alibaba fell as much as 18%, far outpacing its previous record one-day decline of 8.8% in January 2015. The stock hit levels not seen since June. 

The complaint centers arounds Alibaba’s practice of forcing merchants to sign exclusivity contracts and only sell their products on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform and not on competing platforms. 

The investigation comes just one month after Chinese regulators abruptly halted the highly anticipated public debut of Ant Group, a fintech lending company founded by Jack Ma and partially owned by Alibaba. 

That clamp-down on Ant Group came shortly after Ma made critical comments about China’s banking rules. 

In separate statements released Thursday, both Alibaba and Ant Group said they had been notified about the regulatory actions and would cooperate, per The Wall Street Journal.

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