Jack Ma, Alibaba’s Billionaire Co-Founder, Resurfaces After Months of Lying Low

undefinedEmbattled billionaire Jack Ma made his first public appearance in nearly three months, speaking via a video link at a philanthropic event on Wednesday, easing speculation about his safety and whereabouts.

Spokespersons for the Jack Ma Foundation and Ant Group Co., the financial-technology giant that Mr. Ma controls, confirmed a Chinese media report that said he gave a speech to a group of teachers from rural schools.

“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.

The Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , which Mr. Ma co-founded, jumped on the news and closed 8.5% higher Wednesday.

The event saw Mr. Ma addressing 100 village teachers receiving accolades from the foundation. The ceremony is usually held annually in Sanya, a resort town in southern China, Mr. Ma said on the video.

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