Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba platform, is not likely to have a good holiday season. On December 24, 2020, the Chinese authorities launched an investigation against the e-commerce giant for “suspicion of monopolistic practices”. This announcement caused an 8% drop in Alibaba’s shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
This investigation, carried out by the State Administration for Market Regulation, prompted market analysts to react. “There is clearly an escalation of coordinated efforts to hinder Jack Ma’s empire, which symbolized the new Chinese entities too big to fail” observed Dong Ximiao, a specialist from the Institute of Finance of Zhongguancun, the counterpart of Silicon Valley in China.
Indeed, the authorities seem to make it a point of honor to control the activities of the group, which last week was fined 500,000 yuan – or 62,000 euros – for failing to report an acquisition. While the authorities this time did not specify the reason for the investigation, apart from a mysterious “exclusivity agreement”, Alibaba “promised to actively cooperate with the regulators in the investigation.”
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