Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is under antitrust investigation in China, and Chinese financial regulators will have a meeting “in the next few days” with its fintech arm, Ant Group.
The double blow to the galaxy created by Jack Ma came with two notes released a few minutes later, in the morning today, by the Chinese media. Alibaba is under investigation for “suspected monopoly behavior”, the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation said, adding that it is “an important measure to strengthen supervision in the Internet field”, while “in the coming days” , China’s financial regulators – the central bank, the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Stock Market Regulatory Commission and the Foreign Exchange Administration – will have a meeting with Ant Groupto discuss the issues of financial supervision, competition, consumer rights and the development of financial services.
At the news of anti-trust investigations, the Alibaba stock collapsed : after the first trades, it lost about 5% in Hong Kong, which opened unchanged, and during the morning it deepens the losses, leaving on the stock exchange floor on the 6th, 4%. The Chinese authorities are targeting certain behaviors by Alibaba, including forcing wholesalers to choose a single platform. The economy that revolves around the internet has played an important role in China’s growth, is the judgment of the authority for market regulation, but at the same time, concerns about “monopoly problems” of leading platforms increase, with “risks hidden in economic development “.
Ant Group is also in the sights : the next will be the second meeting with the Chinese financial authorities, after the one at the beginning of November, a few hours before the surprise suspension of the double debut on the stock exchange in Shanghai and Hong Kong, in what was set to become the largest IPO ever, worth over $ 35 billion.
To counteract the monopolistic practices of internet big names, China launched new anti-trust rules last month, which Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang promised to abide by: a total turnaround on harsh criticism of Chinese financial authorities. just a few weeks earlier in Shanghai by Jack Ma, who had angered the leaders of Beijing, including the president himself, Xi Jinping.
Last week, Chinese leaders gathered in the Central Economic Labor Conference – the annual closed-door meeting that establishes the lines to be followed over the next year – confirmed their willingness to strengthen anti-trust measures in China against the risk of a “chaotic expansion” of capital, promising increased supervision and “resolute opposition” to monopoly and unfair competition: a clear signal that the Chinese authorities would go ahead and strike without discount.