It also follows a report last week that founder Jack Ma plans to give up control of Ant Group as part of a strategy to appease Chinese regulators and revive the digital payments unit’s initial public offering.

The firm has come under intense pressure from a crackdown on the tech sector by Chinese authorities for more than a year, sending its share price plunging about 70 per cent from its record high in late 2020.

It was hit with a record $2.75 billion fine in April 2021 for anti-competitive practices.

Earlier this year, Alibaba removed all executives linked to Ant from Alibaba Partnership, a group that can nominate the majority of Alibaba’s board.

Reports about Ma’s decision wiped out Alibaba’s gains from earlier in the week, when the firm announced it would seek a primary listing in Hong Kong to better access China’s vast pool of investors.

The selling—it sank more than 10 per cent in New York—was made worse by concerns about Alibaba’s upcoming earnings report, which many fear will show its first ever drop in quarterly revenue.

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