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Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)

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  • TikTok's Chinese version Douyin launches an e-wallet
    Editor's pick
    TechCrunch

    TikTok's Chinese version Douyin launches an e-wallet

    Tencent's WeChat Pay and Alibaba's affiliate Alipay have long dominated digital payments in China, but they have always faced new challengers. The latest entrant in online payments is Douyin, TikTok's Chinese version. The short video app recently added "Douyin Pay" to its list of existing payment options, which have included Alipay and WeChat Pay.

  • Jack Ma Emerges for First Time Since Ant, Alibaba Crackdown
    Bloomberg

    Jack Ma Emerges for First Time Since Ant, Alibaba Crackdown

    (Bloomberg) -- Jack Ma has resurfaced after months out of public view that fueled intense speculation about the plight of the billionaire grappling with escalating scrutiny over his internet empire.China’s most recognizable entrepreneur addressed teachers via livestream Wednesday during an annual event he hosts to recognize rural educators, according to people familiar with matter. In a video of the event circulated online, Ma talked about how he’ll spend more time on philanthropy. The co-founder of Alibaba and Ant didn’t mention his recent run-ins with Beijing during his address, which was first reported in a local blog. Ant confirmed the authenticity of the video in an email.Alibaba’s shares gained more than 4% in Hong Kong. While it’s still unclear where Ma is, his emergence in a public forum may help quell persistent rumors about his fate while Beijing pursues investigations into online finance titan Ant Group Co. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The executive had kept out of public view since early November, when Chinese regulators torpedoed Ant’s $35 billion IPO, tightened fintech regulations, then ordered an overhaul of Ant and launched a separate antitrust probe into Alibaba -- all in a span of days.“Recently, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking. We made a firmer resolution to devote ourselves to education philanthropy,” Ma said in the video. “Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility for our generation of businessmen.”Read more: Jack Ma Goes Quiet After Ant Group’s Spectacular UndoingThe assault on Ma’s trillion-dollar corporate empire encapsulates a broader campaign to rein in a generation of Chinese tech giants that Beijing now views as wielding too much control over the world’s No. 2 economy. The flurry of actions against his twin companies drove home how Beijing has lost patience with the outsize power of its technology moguls, perceived now as a threat to the political and financial stability President Xi Jinping prizes most.The government has increasingly sought to exert influence over the growing extent to which companies from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to ByteDance Ltd. amass data and direct commerce and media. The same month Ant called off its record IPO, the nation’s top antitrust watchdog published new guidelines warning tech giants against monopolistic practices from forced exclusive arrangements to collusion on data. While Ant and Alibaba have borne the brunt of that assault since November, investors have since sold off peers from Tencent to Meituan.Ma’s standing with Beijing remains unclear. As of early December, the man most closely identified with the meteoric rise of China Inc. was advised by the government to stay in the country, a person familiar with the matter has said. Debate about his whereabouts arose because Beijing has in the past quietly detained billionaires that have run afoul of the law, without immediate trial.Read more: World’s Rich Fled Alibaba After Monopoly Probe, Citi Says(Updates with comments from the speech from the second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

  • World’s Rich Fled Alibaba After Monopoly Probe, Citi Says
    Bloomberg

    World’s Rich Fled Alibaba After Monopoly Probe, Citi Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Wealthy investors rushed to offload stock in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after China began an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices at billionaire Jack Ma’s internet giant, according to Citigroup Inc.’s private bank.“A large number” of the bank’s ultra-rich clients cut or exited their holdings in China’s largest e-commerce firm after reports of the probe emerged, Citi Private Bank’s Lab for Family Offices said in a report released Tuesday. China’s stock market previously attracted significant inflows from the firm’s wealthiest customers in the second half of the year, according to the report.Once hailed as drivers of economic prosperity and symbols of the country’s technological prowess, Alibaba and rivals including Tencent Holdings Ltd. face increasing pressure from regulators after amassing hundreds of millions of users and gaining influence over almost every aspect of daily life in China. The $35 billion initial public offering of Alibaba’s affiliate payments firm -- Ant Group Co. -- was abruptly halted last year, helping send Alibaba’s American depositary receipts down more than a fifth since late October.Read more: China Halts Ant Group’s IPO, Throwing Ma Empire Into TurmoilChina’s central bank said last week that Ant Group is working on a timetable to overhaul its business while ensuring operations continue, underscoring the determination to rein in Ma’s business and offering little clue on how far the firm needs to go to assuage Beijing. Ant Group makes up more than a quarter of Ma’s $52.9 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Alibaba shares rose 1.2% at 9:55 a.m. in Hong Kong Wednesday.(Updates Ma’s wealth in fourth paragraph, adds stock move in last)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.