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Jack Ma's video chat ups Alibaba's market value by US$58 bil

Bloomberg1/21/2021 11:56 AM GMT+08  • 5 min read
Jack Ma's video chat ups Alibaba's market value by US$58 bil
Ma's appearance triggered a US$58 billion ($76.89 billion) sigh of relief, despite it being less than a minute,
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He appeared for less than a minute and said nothing about the Chinese government clampdown that had left his business empire in crisis.

But for investors who’d been waiting months to catch a glimpse of Jack Ma, the entrepreneur’s participation in a live-streamed video conference on Wednesday was enough to trigger a US$58 billion ($76.89 billion) sigh of relief. That’s how much Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s market value soared after a clip of Ma speaking to a group of teachers began circulating online -- his first public comments since disappearing from view late last year.

Much about the future of China’s most famous businessman remains unclear. Yet analysts said Wednesday’s (Jan 20) video was a sign that worst-case scenarios -- such as jail time for Ma or a government takeover of his companies –- are probably now off the table. It’s unlikely Ma would have participated in the event without at least tacit approval from Beijing; state-run media including the Global Times were among outlets that posted snippets of his talk or wrote stories about his appearance.

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