Global investors seems to be running away from Chinese tech stocks after Chinese government’s crackdown on Ant Group and Alibaba, the two high-flying businesses founded by Jack Ma.
Alibaba shares on Monday fell 9 per cent to their lowest since June. The firm's upsized $10-billion buyback programme also failed to ease concerns about a regulatory crackdown on Jack Ma's e-commerce and financial empire.
A sharp selloff over two sessions has knocked almost $116 billion off the tech giant's Hong Kong-listed shares.
Meanwhile, China’s Central Bank has asked online financial giant Ant Group to shake up it's lending along with other consumer finance operations.
The central bank had summoned Ant executives and told them to "rectify" the company's lending, insurance and wealth management services.
As per media reports, the Chinese regulators have previously also asked the company to comply with nation’s regulatory requirements and continue as a payments service provider while warning against its growth in consumer loans and wealth management businesses. However, China’s Central bank announcement on December 27 came in the backdrop of intense scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in China’s internet industry.
According to the reports, the antitrust investigation into Alibaba has yet to specify the penalties, which is worrying investors a lot.
These developments are part of a crackdown on monopolistic behaviour in China's booming internet space in general, also Jack Ma's business empire in particular after he publicly criticized the regulatory system for stifling innovation. It’s clear that the rising tensions between China’s tech giants and the country’s ruling Communist Party have investors spooked.
Last month, just two days before the planned debut, Chinese regulators suddenly suspended Ant's $37 billion initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which was supposed to be the world's largest