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Jack Ma makes rare public appearance at Alibaba event

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who has been out of public sight for months as Chinese regulators probed his business empire, made a rare public appearance during a company staff event on Monday.

The billionaire showed up at the internet giant’s headquarters in the eastern city of Hangzhou. Dressed in a blue short-sleeve shirt and white pants, Ma appeared thinner than before, with more white hair on his head.

He appeared relaxed when meeting Alibaba employees during the annual event, and kept smiling at their cameras.

Ma largely disappeared from public view after Chinese officials took a series of regulatory actions against his company group late last year.

The record US$37 billion stock-listing plan of Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Group was suspended days before it went public in November. Last month, Alibaba was slapped with a record fine of 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) for abusing its market dominance.

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