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Alibaba shares increased nearly 7% after Jack Ma appeared in Europe and released a new chip

Alibaba shares increased nearly 7% after Jack Ma appeared in Europe

October 21, 2021: -On Wednesday, Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares rallied as much as 9% following reports that its founder Jack Ma went to Europe and after the release of a new chip. The stock pared some gains and closed 6.6% higher.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-based publication East Week reported that Ma had traveled to Spain in the weekend with his billionaire friends and business partners for a sailing vacation. The report is citing a source that could not be named because of confidentiality considerations.

The South China Morning Post, owned by Alibaba, later published an article reporting Ma was in Spain for an agriculture and technology study tour with the environmental issues.

Ma’s whereabouts have been the topic of intense discussion since he went out of the public view in the previous October after a speech in which he appeared to criticize Chinese regulators.

The initial public offering of Ma’s fintech giant Ant Group was subsequently suspended. Since then, China’s technology sector has also come under intense scrutiny from regulators.

China’s technology companies have seen billions of dollars wiped off of their valuations. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares are down more than 23% year-to-date.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Jack Ma no longer being missing would have at least a 10% impact on Alibaba’s share price, as that has long been one of the uncertainties many investors have had about the stock,” Tariq Dennison, wealth manager at Hong Kong-based GFM Asset Management, told CNBC.

In January, when Ma reappeared for the first time since the October speech, Alibaba’s shares surged on the day.

Alibaba also released some news related to its cloud business this week. On Tuesday, the company launched a new chip designed for servers to boost its cloud computing capabilities.

Cloud is seen as a critical part of Alibaba’s future growth, and it currently accounts for 8% of the company’s total revenue.

On Wednesday, the e-commerce giant also said that it plans to open new data centers in South Korea and Thailand next year to continue the overseas expansion of its cloud business.

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