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GUANGZHOU, China — Alibaba founder Jack Ma has emerged after weeks out of the spotlight, which sparked speculation about his whereabouts as his companies face increased regulatory scrutiny.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed stock was up over 8% on news of his reappearance.

In a video posted on Chinese social media, Ma addressed rural teachers as part of one his charity foundation’s initiatives. The annual event, which is usually hosted in the resort city of Sanya, sees the Jack Ma Foundation celebrate the achievements of rural teachers who are awarded cash support.

“Jack Ma participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative
event on January 20,” a spokesperson for the Jack Ma Foundation said.

In October, Ma made some comments that appeared critical of China’s financial regulator.

“What Mary Barra and the team are doing at GM — and look there’s still room to go — but what they’re doing may end up being one of the most profound strategic turnarounds, not just in the auto industry, but in business,” Jonas said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

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