Investing.com investing.com 24 Dec, 2020 09:00 am

China launches antitrust probe into tech giant Alibaba By Reuters

China launches antitrust probe into tech giant Alibaba By Reuters
China launches antitrust probe into tech giant Alibaba

FILE PHOTO: Signs of Alibaba Group and Ant Group are seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen p By Julie Zhu, Kane Wu and Cheng Leng HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) -China has launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba (NYSE: BABA ) Group and will summon the tech giant's Ant Group affiliate to meet in coming days, regulators said on Thursday, in the latest blow for Jack Ma's e-commerce and fintech empire.Financial regulators will also meet with Alibaba's Ant Group fintech arm in coming days, according to a separate statement by the People's Bank of China on Thursday, casting another cloud over a potential revival of the share sale.The meeting would "guide Ant Group to implement financial supervision, fair competition and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers," the statement said.It follows China's dramatic suspension last month of Ant's planned $37 billion initial public offering, which had been on track to be the world's largest, just two days before shares were due to begin trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Shares in Alibaba fell nearly 9% in Hong Kong, their lowest since July, while rivals Meituan and JD (NASDAQ: JD ).Fred Hu, chairman of Primavera Capital Group in Hong Kong, an Ant investor, said global markets would watch to see whether the moves were "politically motivated" and whether regulators targeted private but not state monopolies.

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