Article: Jack Ma’s Double-Whammy Marks End of China Tech’s Golden Age

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Jack Ma’s Double-Whammy Marks End of China Tech’s Golden Age

Bloomberg, 14 April 2021

(Bloomberg) — The full implications of Beijing’s rapid-fire moves against Jack Ma’s internet empire in recent days won’t be apparent for weeks, but one lesson is already clear: The glory days for China’s technology giants are over.

The country’s government imprinted its authority indelibly on the country’s technology industry in the span of a few days. In landmark announcements, it slapped a record $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for abusing its market dominance, then ordered an overhaul of Ant Group Co. On Tuesday, regulators summoned 34 of the country’s largest companies from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd., warning them “the red line of laws cannot be touched.” Continue reading “Article: Jack Ma’s Double-Whammy Marks End of China Tech’s Golden Age”

Article: Alibaba shares jump after record $2.8bn anti-monopoly fine

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Alibaba shares jump after record $2.8bn anti-monopoly fine

Mark Sweney, 12 April 2021

Shares in Alibaba surged on Monday after the e-commerce company said that a record $2.8bn (£2bn) fine handed down by Chinese regulators marked the end of an investigation into anti-competitive practices at the company.

Top executives at the company, founded by the billionaire Jack Ma, told investors that while Chinese regulators continued a wider investigation into the sprawling conglomerates in the country’s tech industry, they believed the multibillion dollar fine announced at the weekend marked the end of the focus on Alibaba. The company is listed in Hong Kong and its shares climbed as much as 9% on the management’s comments. Continue reading “Article: Alibaba shares jump after record $2.8bn anti-monopoly fine”

Article: China Hits Alibaba With Huge $2.78 Billion Fine For Market Abuse: Report

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China Hits Alibaba With Huge $2.78 Billion Fine For Market Abuse: Report

Agence France-Presse, 10 April 2021

Shanghai, China: Chinese regulators have hit e-commerce giant Alibaba with a massive 18.2 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) fine over practices deemed to be an abuse of the company’s dominant market position, state-run media reported on Saturday.

Xinhua news agency said the State Administration for Market Regulation had assessed the fine after concluding an investigation into Alibaba that began in December. Continue reading “Article: China Hits Alibaba With Huge $2.78 Billion Fine For Market Abuse: Report”

Article: Flourishing Financially: Corporate Finance In Switzerland

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Flourishing Financially: Corporate Finance In Switzerland

RHEA WESSEL, 02 April 2021

Switzerland is reasserting its reputation as a stable and resilient economy in times of turbulence. While markets elsewhere are concerned about overleveraged companies and ballooning public debt, credit and capital markets in Switzerland appear to be quietly ticking along with the reliability of a proverbial Swiss watch.

It is not for nothing that the country and its currency are considered among the safest of havens. After the Alpine republic and its internationally oriented companies weathered the 2008 global financial crisis, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) tackled the relentless appreciation of the Swiss franc by massively intervening in the currency market, opening Switzerland to accusations of currency manipulation.

But it worked. The SNB’s efforts stemmed the franc’s rise, protecting Swiss companies’ competitiveness and creating favorable funding conditions in the country. Corporate bond spreads hardly budged throughout the financial crisis, a stark contrast to the adverse environment CFOs faced in the eurozone and the US. Continue reading “Article: Flourishing Financially: Corporate Finance In Switzerland”

Article: China tells Alibaba to sell off media assets in tech crackdown

Article - Media, Publications

China tells Alibaba to sell off media assets in tech crackdown

Mark Sweney and Helen Davidson, 16 March 2021

Beijing has ordered e-commerce company Alibaba to sell off media assets including Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) as the Chinese government looks to crack down on the growing public influence held by the country’s sprawling tech conglomerates.

Alibaba has become the lightning rod in the crackdown on big tech after founder Jack Ma, one of China’s most popular, outspoken and wealthiest entrepreneurs, delivered a blunt speech last year criticising national regulators that reportedly infuriated the president, Xi Jinping.

Following the comments, Chinese regulators blocked the $34bn stock market flotation of Alibaba online payments subsidiary Ant Group, which would have been the biggest share offering in history, and Ma disappeared from the public eye for three months. Last week, it emerged that regulators are reportedly preparing to hit Alibaba with a record fine in excess of $975m over anti-competitive practices.

China’s protectionist business regime, which shuts out foreign companies including Google and Netflix, has enabled a group of homegrown conglomerates to flourish as the country looks to build the next wave of global tech champions to challenge Silicon Valley.

Beijing has struggled to maintain control over their activities and wider influence with Alibaba’s media empire expanding to buy SCMP, Hong Kong’s premier English-language newspaper, in 2016 and holding stakes in social network Weibo, video streaming service Youku and Yicai Media Group, one of the country’s most influential news outlets.

“What is interesting here is that the Chinese Communist party has done a good job of cultivating huge tech giants, national champions,” said Jamie MacEwan, a senior media analyst at Enders Analysis. “But there has always been a split under the surface between those who want to encourage the great tech leap forward and a growing unease among those worried about these huge companies and the big public figures at the head of them, like Ma, outgrowing the patronage of the [Chinese communist] party.”

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