Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, during the opening ceremony of the 3rd All-China Young Entrepreneurs Summit on September 25, 2020 in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China.

Lyu Ming | China News Service | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – Alibaba founder Jack Ma has gone out of the spotlight after weeks, sparking speculation about his whereabouts as his businesses face increased government scrutiny.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed stock rose 5% after surfacing.

In a video posted on Chinese social media, Ma addressed rural teachers as part of an initiative by his charity foundation. At the annual event, usually held in the resort town of Sanya, the Jack Ma Foundation celebrates the achievements of rural teachers who receive financial support.

“Jack Ma attended the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on January 20th,” said a spokesman for the Jack Ma Foundation.

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

It was one of the reasons that Chinese regulators set the record for a record-breaking IPO for Ant Group, the financial technology giant Ma founded.