New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: After remaining out of public view for months leading to speculations about his whereabouts, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma resurfaced on Monday when he 'virtually' met a hundred rural teachers across the country via video conferencing. 

Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, a government-backed news website, reported the meeting on Wednesday.

Jack Ma had been staying out of the public eye since October last year and had even cancelled a TV appearance and avoided social media. This had led people speculating about what had happened to the Alibaba founder. 

Jack Ma's fintech venture Ant Group has been under the scanner of the Chinese government after the businessman delivered a speech in October in which he slammed China’s regulation system for stifling innovation. He had also called global banking rules an “old people’s club”.

According to a report in TechCrunch, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, "summoned Ant Group for regulatory talks on December 26th, announcing a sweeping plan for the fintech firm to 'rectify' its regulatory violations".

Upset with the speech, the Chinese government viewed Ma's criticisms as an attack on the authority of the Communist Party, and led to its extraordinary clampdown on Ma's business activities.

In November last year, Ma was reprimanded by officials in Beijing who suspended the blockbuster $37billion initial public offering of his Ant Group on the direct order of President Jinping, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Jack's disappearance left people wondering what had happened to him until Wednesday when the Chinese state media Global Times shared a video of Ma interacting with rural teachers through video conference. "We'll meet again after the pandemic," he says in the clip.

CNBC had earlier reported that contrary to speculation, Ma was not missing but was “laying low” after telling off Chinese government regulators.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta