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Thread: Jack Ma & Alibaba

  1. #76
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    What is happening to PRC moviemaking right now?

    Mar 15, 2021 11:21am PT
    Alibaba May Be Forced to Sell Media Businesses by Chinese Government (Report)

    By Patrick Frater


    Alibaba Group
    The Chinese government may order e-commerce to entertainment giant Alibaba to sell off or cut back its vast array of media assets. In addition to the company’s too-big-to fail status derived from activities that range from food retailing to electronic payments, China’s government has reportedly become concerned about Alibaba’s ability to influence public opinion.

    After government regulators drew up an inventory of the group’s media assets earlier this year, they have begun negotiations with Alibaba that may lead to disposal of some of its media businesses, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing anonymous sources.

    Alibaba’s media and entertainment portfolio is huge and diverse, though it is almost entirely focused on Greater China. The businesses range from print publishing to video streaming, and include minority stakes in social media firms, cinemas and film production companies.

    One of its most prominent overseas jewels is a minority stake of unknown size in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, bought in late 2016. Another is its majority stake in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper publisher, bought earlier the same year.

    In response to the report, Alibaba said in a statement: “The purpose of our investments in these companies is to provide technology support for their business upgrade and drive commercial synergies with our core commerce businesses. We do not intervene or get involved in the companies’ day-to-day operations or editorial decisions.”

    The vast majority of media in China is owned or controlled by the state at some level. That allows central authorities to direct news flow, emphasize favored topics, demonize enemies and exclude information and opinion that does not support Communist Party messaging.

    Social media, with its diversity and speed, is increasingly being seen as a challenge to the China government’s ability to speak with one voice. Over the years, social platforms have been required to do the government’s bidding by employing ever increasing number of staff to censor user comments and user-generated content.

    Despite companies’ compliance, Chinese authorities have also spent several months devising ways to rein in the country’s tech giants. Financial regulatory authorities halted the spinoff and IPO of Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Group, in late 2020. They have also used the State Authority for Market Regulation to punish tech firms for unauthorized merger and acquisition activity, and in late December Alibaba was given formal notification of an investigation into alleged monopolistic behavior.

    Among Alibaba’s core media and entertainment businesses is Youku Tudou, one of China’s largest generalist video streaming firms. Its Alibaba Pictures unit, which has a separate share listing in Hong Kong, contains film production and distribution businesses as well as Tao Piao Piao, one of two companies that dominate cinema ticketing.

    Alibaba also amassed minority stakes in publisher Yicai Media (37%), video streamer Mango TV (5%), Twitter-like social media platform Weibo (30%), video entertainment group Bilibili (6.7%) and Focus Media (5.3%), China’s top online advertising network.

    It also has stakes in film studios Huayi Bros. Media, Bona Film Group, film financier Hehe Pictures and exhibition chains Dadi Cinemas and Wanda Pictures. Those investments have often appeared to be at the behest of Chinese authorities as a means of using Alibaba’s massive financial strength to shore up the country’s entertainment sector, which is huge but remains in its industrial infancy.

    Alibaba shares are listed in ARD form on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The conglomerate’s market capitalization was around $620 billion on Monday.

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  2. #77
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    More disputes

    Wonder how Jack is doing...

    MARCH 29, 202112:04 AM UPDATED 2 DAYS AGO
    Alibaba-backed Energy Monster caught in legal dispute ahead of U.S. listing
    By Samuel Shen, Josh Horwitz

    4 MIN READ


    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Energy Monster, China’s biggest mobile device power bank startup backed by Alibaba and SoftBank, is embroiled in an ownership dispute that could further cloud a Nasdaq flotation already buffeted by new U.S. regulations to delist foreign companies.


    FILE PHOTO: The logo of Alibaba Group is seen at its office in Beijing, China January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
    Two Shanghai-based venture capitalists are pressing a case through both U.S. and Chinese courts against Energy Monster Chief Executive Guangyuan Cai, claiming he reneged on a deal to give them a joint 3% stake in the business.

    Energy Monster, which rents out power banks, or charging stations, for use by customers in Chinese shopping malls, restaurants, bars and other public places, filed earlier this month for an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq.

    The company has not yet set a date for the anticipated $300 million IPO but a discovery filing by Yiming Feng and Sicheng Yin, partners at Atom Venture Capital, in the United States last week described it as “imminent”.

    Feng and Yin initially filed a lawsuit in China in January, arguing they played a critical role in the conception and development of Energy Monster but Cai reneged on the equity transfer promise, Feng told Reuters.

    Seeking to bolster their claims, Feng and Yin last week applied for and won a U.S. court order authorizing them to obtain information “related to the 3% equity agreement”, from Citigroup Global Markets Inc and Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, the IPO’s underwriters.

    The petition document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said the information “will help (the) petitioners prove their claims in the Chinese litigation.”

    “We are very pleased that the Court granted the requested discovery,” Michael Carlinsky, a managing partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, who represents Feng and Yin, wrote in an e-mailed statement to Reuters.

    Energy Monster, Citi and Goldman declined to comment. Cai, who owns 6.6% of Energy Monster, did not respond to a request for comment.

    In its March 12 IPO application, Energy Monster said Cai was advised by his China litigation counsel that the plaintiffs’ claims “are baseless and frivolous”, and the CEO is “contesting the claims vigorously”.

    The legal challenge adds to headwinds for Energy Monster’s IPO, after the U.S. securities regulator last week adopted measures that would kick foreign companies off American stock exchanges if they do not comply with U.S. auditing standards. Those enhanced powers triggered a sell-off in U.S.-listed Chinese companies.

    Energy Monster’s IPO filing cautioned “there can be no assurance that Mr. Cai will be able to prevail in the lawsuit or that he will be able to settle the lawsuit on terms favorable to him.”

    “An adverse ruling could have a materially adverse effect on our reputation, capital structure, business and financial condition,” it said.

    VIE STRUCTURE
    The claim against Energy Monster centres on a 3% stake in Shanghai Zhixiang Technology Co Ltd, which is ultimately controlled by Energy Monster’s listing vehicle, Cayman Islands-registered Smart Share Global Ltd.

    Chinese technology firms seeking a U.S. listing typically use a variable interest entity (VIE) structure, where an overseas listing vehicle controls onshore operations through contractual agreements, to skirt regulatory hurdles.

    Feng said that if he and Yin secure the 3% stake in Shanghai Zhixiang, they could potentially disrupt the VIE structure.

    “If the VIE structure is broken, where is the legality of listing?” Feng told Reuters.

    A unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is the largest shareholder in Energy Monster with a 16.5% stake while SoftBank subsidiaries hold 7.7% of the company, according to the IPO filing.

    Reporting by Samuel Shen and Josh Horwitz
    Gene Ching
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  3. #78
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    Hupan Academy

    PRC is really after Jack.

    APRIL 8, 2021 11:23 PM UPDATED 10 HOURS AGO
    China halts new enrollments at business school backed by Jack Ma: FT
    By Reuters Staff

    2 MIN READ


    FILE PHOTO - Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group, speaks in front of a picture of SoftBank's human-like robot named 'pepper' during a news conference in Chiba, Japan, June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Picture
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Beijing authorities have forced an elite business school backed by Alibaba Group Co Ltd founder Jack Ma to halt enrollments, the Financial Times said on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

    The clampdown on the school, founded in 2015 by Ma to train China’s next generation of entrepreneurs, comes as his business empire faces government scrutiny.

    Hupan Academy, based in the city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba has its headquarters, suspended a first-year class set to begin in late March, the newspaper said.

    Alibaba and Hupan Academy did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

    Tuition for the three-year program amounts to 580,000 yuan ($88,500.98). Students listed in the incoming class of 2019 included executives from Keep, a successful Chinese exercise company, and fast-growing domestic chip firm Horizon Robotics.

    The school is among the initiatives launched by Ma related to education, a sector the erstwhile English teacher has committed to since stepping down from his role as Alibaba’s chairman in 2019.

    The enrollment halt comes amid Beijing’s crackdown on Ma’s businesses. Late last year Ant Group, a financial affiliate of Alibaba, abruptly suspended a planned $37 billion IPO in Shanghai following pressure from the authorities.

    The botched listing came after Ma made comments in public criticising China’s financial regulators. He has yet to make a public appearance since, save for a brief 50-second video clip broadcast to a group of teachers.

    ($1=6.5536 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
    Gene Ching
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  4. #79
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    $2.75 billion

    PRC is really after Jack.

    APRIL 11, 2021 12:24 AM UPDATED 12 HOURS AGO
    Record penalty for Ma's Alibaba marks tumultuous stretch for its founder
    By Tony Munroe

    5 MIN READ

    BEIJING (Reuters) - Once seemingly untouchable, Alibaba founder Jack Ma has endured a tumultuous run that saw his Chinese e-commerce giant hit with a record 18 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) antitrust fine on Saturday, resolving one key uncertainty even as others persist for himself and his business empire.


    FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Jack Ma, billionaire founder of Alibaba Group, arrives at the "Tech for Good" Summit in Paris, France May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo/File Photo
    The reversal of fortune for the 56-year-old Ma, who has all-but-disappeared from public view since an October speech blasting China’s regulatory system, has been striking for an entrepreneur whose transformation of commerce in China - and his relentless optimism - commanded cult-like reverence.

    Ma, who stepped down from Alibaba in 2019 but looms large in the corporate psyche and in the eyes of investors, had revelled in pushing boundaries with audacious statements, taking a high profile even as most Chinese peers kept their heads down.

    Friends in high places, as well as pride in Alibaba’s success, had protected Ma, sources have said.

    That was until his Shanghai speech triggered a backlash that led to the scuppering of a blockbuster $37 billion IPO for Alibaba financial technology affiliate Ant Group, as well as a clampdown by authorities on the e-commerce giant itself and the wider “platform economy”, which continues to reverberate.

    Ant, whose rapid growth and freewheeling lending practices drew regulatory concern about financial risk, remains subject to an enforced restructuring that is expected to rein in some of its most profitable businesses and slash its valuation.

    “Entrepreneurship has to be disruptive. But being provocative to the government has its limits,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA China and author of a book on Alibaba and Ma.

    Saturday’s settlement, he said, “should draw a line” under the matter for Alibaba.]

    “But for Ant and Jack, there’s no line drawn yet,” he said.

    Alibaba declined to comment on Ma, and his foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

    CONSPICUOUS ABSENCE
    Ma’s absence from public view became conspicuous until he surfaced for the first time in three months in late January, speaking to a group of teachers by video, which sent Alibaba shares surging. He has continued to keep an extremely low profile.

    “He’s playing a lot of golf and improving his handicap,” said one person who knows him.

    A former English teacher, Ma co-founded Alibaba in 1999 from a shared apartment in the eastern city of Hangzhou, ultimately building a colossus that spans e-commerce, financial services, cloud computing and even supermarkets, making him China’s most famous businessman.

    He was also China’s richest, until the clampdown knocked him back to fourth place on the Hurun Global Rich List published in March, although Ma and his family’s wealth still grew last year by 22% to 360 billion yuan, according to the list.

    As of last July, he owned 4.8% of Alibaba.

    In 2018, Ma was revealed to be a Communist Party member by its official newspaper, debunking a public assumption that he was politically unattached.

    ‘ARROGANCE DISCOUNT’

    Ma has often been described in Chinese media as a source of national pride and even legend. His global prominence made him an almost-diplomatic figure. Countless books have been published on Alibaba’s founding and Ma’s business tactics.

    Ma-isms such as “Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine”, are common in Chinese business circles. In Hangzhou, small firms have been known to set up altars adorned with images of Ma to bring good fortune.

    But in a February snub, Ma was left off a list of Chinese entrepreneurial leaders published by state media.

    Franklin Chu, president of Sage Capital in Rye, New York, noted that Alibaba shares are trading at a 30% discount to their 52-week high.

    “I call this the ‘Jack Ma arrogance discount,’ combined with the recent round of China-bashing coming out of Washington,” he said.

    Alibaba, he said, “needs to work hard to re-establish an accommodative relationship with its regulatory handlers.”

    Since stepping back from the company, Ma has sought to focus his time on philanthropy and education, including his charitable trust, the Jack Ma Foundation, and two schools in Hangzhou.

    Ma was an active conference participant, making at least 12 appearances in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In March 2020, he opened a Twitter account - the platform is blocked in China - which mainly tweeted about his foundation’s COVID-19 prevention efforts. Its last tweet was on Oct. 10.

    “It’s crucial for Chinese entrepreneurs to be low-key. Don’t speak casually. And don’t say anything wrong,” Edward Chen, chairman of Shanghai-based fintech consultancy China Rising Group, said in a social media video post.

    “Prudence in words and action is the No. 1 priority so that Chinese entrepreneurs can live longer.”

    ($1 = 6.5522 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    Reporting by Tony Munroe in Beijing, Brenda Goh, Samuel Shen and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai, Kane Wu in Hong Kong and Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by Kim Coghill
    Gene Ching
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  5. #80
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    Jack appears

    May 10, 2021
    7:51 AM PDT
    Technology
    Jack Ma makes rare visit to Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou

    Reuters


    Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group, speaks in front of a picture of SoftBank's human-like robot named 'pepper' during a news conference in Chiba, Japan, June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

    Alibaba (9988.HK) founder Jack Ma, largely out of public view amid a regulatory clampdown on the group, made a rare visit to its Hangzhou campus on Monday during the e-commerce giant's annual "Ali Day" staff and family event, company sources said.

    The billionaire has kept an extremely low profile since delivering a speech in October in Shanghai criticising China's financial regulators, which set off a chain of events that led to the shelving of what would have been a record $37 billion initial public offering of Alibaba's affiliate Ant Group.

    On Monday, Ma was seen in an open-air campus shuttle bus with a number of Alibaba executives, according to a photograph taken by an employee at the event, viewed by Reuters. Wearing a blue T-shirt, white trousers and a pair of Chinese-style cloth shoes, Ma was smiling.

    "It's so exciting to see Jack," said the employee, declining to be named.

    "It's a pity there was no chance to take a photo with him."

    China's most famous entrepreneur, Ma enjoyed cult-like status among staff even after stepping down as chairman in 2019.

    Ma, who is based in Hangzhou, disappeared from public view for three months before surfacing in January, speaking to a group of teachers by video, which sent Alibaba shares surging, but has not made any other public appearances since then.

    Last month, regulators imposed a sweeping restructuring on Ant Group, while Alibaba was hit with a record antitrust fine of 18.2 billion yuan ($2.84 billion) after an investigation found it abused its market dominance.


    ($1 = 6.4110 Chinese yuan renminbi)
    What happens next I wonder?
    Gene Ching
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  6. #81
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    Ma steps down from Hupan

    Business
    Jack Ma to Step Down as President of Academy He Founded, FT Says
    By Yueqi Yang
    May 23, 2021, 1:56 PM PDT
    Move came amid Beijing’s crackdown on Ma’s influence
    Hupan University is changing name and curriculum, paper says

    Jack Ma Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

    In this article
    BABA
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    Jack Ma will step down as president of Hupan University, an elite business academy he co-founded six years ago, amid pressure from Beijing, the Financial Times reported.

    The move comes as Chinese authorities crack down on the influence of the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. Ma abruptly fell from grace after blasting financial regulators in a public speech last October. Since then, his highly-anticipated initial public offering by Ant Group Co. has been put on hold, and Ma has largely stayed out of public view.

    Hupan University, a training program for executives and entrepreneurs located in Hangzhou, Ma’s hometown, had recently changed its name to Hupan Innovation Center, dropping the word “university” because it’s not a degree-granting educational institution. The school will also restructure its curriculum because authorities were concerned that Ma was building a network at odds with the Communist party’s objectives, the FT reported.

    Ma was intent on remaining connected to the school, the newspaper said, but wouldn’t hold any high-level official title. Hupan had suspended enrollment of new student earlier, the paper said.

    Alibaba referred the FT’s questions to Hupan, which didn’t respond requests to the newspaper for comment.
    Wonder what's next?
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  7. #82
    I think his life is in danger, I wish Jack Ma's safety.

  8. #83
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    $1b

    Alibaba Earmarks US$1 Billion for Cloud Investment Across Asia Pacific
    By Alison Tudor Ackroyd
    |
    Published on Jun 8, 2021


    Alibaba Group’s cloud operator pledged to invest an initial US$1 billion supporting talent and start-ups across the Asia Pacific region over the next three years.

    Alibaba Cloud also said it would launch its first data center in the Philippines by the end of this year, build an innovation center in Malaysia, and officially launched its third data center in Indonesia.

    “We are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence said in a statement on Tuesday unveiling the updates.


    Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, speaks at a virtual summit held on June 8, 2021.
    The flurry of announcements came during a half-day virtual summit held by Alibaba Cloud’s international operations annually. The chunky investment is the largest by Alibaba Group this financial year, underscoring the Hangzhou-headquartered e-commerce player’s confidence in the region’s digital transformation.

    During the summit, Alibaba Cloud also launched an e-commerce livestreaming solution for merchants to reach shoppers digitally, the cloud division said in a separate statement on Tuesday.

    The solution guarantees image quality while reducing bit rates, enabling a high-resolution livestreaming experience with low bandwidth costs. Users can enjoy livestreams with a latency of around two seconds, essential to the experience of flash sales.

    Low latency is critical across Southeast Asia where the digital infrastructure is nascent, but where policymakers are keen to see greater economic and financial inclusion that internet connections offer their citizens. Southeast Asia’s internet sector is poised to grow to over US$300 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025, said Google and Singapore’s Temasek in a widely cited report.

    The livestreaming solution comes as retailers post record sales during China’s second-largest shopping festival, 6.18. Sales generated from Taobao Live in just the opening hour of the event surpassed that of the entire first day of the same event last year.

    Livestreaming e-commerce solutions are quickly evolving as a response to increasing demand during the Covid-19 pandemic. Retailers globally have flocked to China, where the economy rebounded relatively quickly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and adopted digital tools to reach shoppers.

    “Innovative technology is critical to the recovery from Covid-19,” said Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

    Built upon Alibaba Cloud’s extensive content delivery networks with over 2,800 nodes in more than 70 countries and regions, the livestreaming solution leverages the cloud real-time video processing technology to ensure an uninterrupted signal transfer between sellers, buyers and the nearest distribution center.

    During China’s largest shopping festival, 11.11, Alibaba Cloud provided a highly scalable, reliable and secure public cloud infrastructure, which at its peak processed 583,000 orders per second.

    Alibaba Cloud grew out of the group’s need to operate at scale and address the core commerce business’s complexity, including payments and logistics. In 2009, the group founded Alibaba Cloud to make these technologies available to third-party customers. It offers cloud services to customers worldwide, including elastic computing, database, big data analytics, a machine learning platform and IoT services.

    Alibaba Group was ranked third globally and first in the Asia Pacific region last year in the global Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, a form of cloud computing, according to a report by consultancy Gartner in April.

    In the March 2021 quarter, cloud computing revenue grew 37% year-over-year to RMB16,761 million (US$2,558 million). Alibaba Cloud turned profitable during the December quarter.

    Looking ahead, another big project for Alibaba Cloud is helping digitally upgrade the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year, part of making the games widely accessible during the pandemic. The cloud operator is a worldwide partner for the International Olympic Committee until 2028.
    Now what's happening with Alibaba?
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  9. #84
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    JD.com

    China’s JD.com smashes through its Singles Day record with $48.7 billion in sales and counting
    PUBLISHED THU, NOV 11 20213:06 AM EST
    Arjun Kharpal
    @ARJUNKHARPAL

    Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has so far racked up 311.4 billion yuan ($48.6 billion) in sales across its platforms during the Singles Day shopping event, smashing through its record last year.

    There are still several hours left of Singles Day this year with JD’s sales ending at midnight China time on Friday so that transaction volume will increase.

    While it traditionally was a 24 hour flash-sale type of event, Singles Day has got longer each year which has allowed e-commerce players to grow their sales.

    GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has racked up 311.4 billion yuan ($48.6 billion) in sales across its platforms as of 14:09 p.m. Beijing time during the Singles Day shopping event, smashing through its record last year.

    The figure JD.com released is referred to as transaction volume. It is the amount of money that is transacted across its e-commerce platforms and does not directly translate into revenue for the company — and it does not take into account returned items.

    Still, it’s an indication of the appetite from shoppers on Singles Day or Double 11, a major shopping event in China that eclipses Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. in terms of sales.

    Last year, JD’s transaction volume totaled 271.5 billion yuan. There are still several hours left of Singles Day this year with JD’s sales ending at midnight China time on Friday, so that transaction volume will increase.

    JD rival Alibaba has not released any figures for transactions across its platforms yet.


    Workers from Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com prepare parcels for delivery at the company’s main logistics hub for Singles Day on November 11, 2020 in Beijing, China.
    Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

    Alibaba began the Singles Day event in 2009 but now retailers across the country are all involved, offering huge discounts to tempt consumers into buying goods.

    While it was traditionally a 24-hour flash-sale type of event, Singles Day has gotten longer each year.

    JD had a pre-sale period from Oct. 20 to Oct. 31, before official sales began immediately to continue until midnight on Friday. The longer sales period is part of the reason JD has been able to grow its transaction volume this year.

    This year’s Double 11 has taken on a different feel under the specter of China’s crackdown on its domestic technology sector, concerns about economic growth, and President Xi Jinping’s push toward more moderate wealth for all, or “common prosperity.”

    In an interview with CNBC recorded ahead of Singles Day, the CEO of JD’s retail business told CNBC that “consumer demand keeps increasing.”
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  10. #85
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    China crack down

    November 19, 2021
    7:27 PM PST
    Last Updated 2 days ago
    Technology
    China fines tech giants for failing to report 43 old deals
    Reuters

    2 minute read


    A man walks past the company logo of JD.com during the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China September 4, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo

    BEIJING, Nov 20 (Reuters) - China's market regulator on Saturday said it was fining companies including Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com for failing to declare 43 deals that date as far back as 2012 to authorities, saying that they violated anti-monopoly legislation.

    Enterprises involved in the cases would be fined 500,000 yuan ($78,000) each, it said, the maximum under China's 2008 Anti-Monopoly Law.

    Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and Geely did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    China has been tightening its grip on internet platforms, reversing a once laissez-faire approach and citing the risk of abusing market power to stifle competition, misuse of consumers’ data and violation of consumer rights.

    The earliest deal listed was a 2012 acquisition involving Baidu and a partner, and the most recent was the 2021 agreement between Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings to create a new-energy vehicle company.

    Other deals cited by the State Administration of Market Supervision included Alibaba's 2014 acquisition of Chinese digital mapping and navigation firm AutoNavi and its 2018 purchase of a 44% stake in Ele.me to become the food delivery service's largest shareholder.

    The deals, however, did not have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, the regulator said.

    In December last year, it fined Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature and Shenzhen Hive Box 500,000 yuan each for not reporting past deals properly for antitrust reviews, the first time it had ever done so.

    ($1 = 6.3863 Chinese yuan renminbi)


    Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Brenda Goh; Editing by William Mallard
    Not only does China tax its rich, it fines them a lot.
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  11. #86
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    $26 b

    A Chinese man called 'Ma' was detained. The news wiped $26 billion off Alibaba's stock
    Analysis by Nectar Gan, CNN
    Updated 1:37 AM ET, Thu May 5, 2022

    A version of this story appeared in CNN's Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three-times-a-week update exploring what you need to know about the country's rise and how it impacts the world. Sign up here.

    Hong Kong (CNN Business)For Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma, there's a price to freedom: $26 billion.

    Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant Ma co-founded, saw its Hong Kong-listed shares plunge as much as 9.4% Tuesday after Chinese state media reported that an individual surnamed "Ma" in the city of Hangzhou — where Alibaba is based — had been detained on national security grounds.
    According to China's state broadcaster CCTV, the suspect was placed under "compulsory measures" on April 25 on suspicion of "colluding with overseas anti-China hostile forces" to "incite secession" and "incite subversion of state power."
    The one-sentence report, which was swiftly picked up by other state media outlets and alerted across Chinese news platforms, triggered panic selling in Hong Kong, erasing an estimated $26 billion from Alibaba's market value within minutes.
    Amid the frenzy, Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of the state-owned nationalist tabloid the Global Times, rushed to clarify on China's Twitter-like Weibo that the report was misleading because the name of the suspect in question has three characters. Jack Ma's Chinese name, Ma Yun, has only two characters. (CCTV later quietly updated its original report to match Hu's assessment).
    To further dispel concerns, the Global Times reported the accused man was born in 1985 in Wenzhou (while Jack Ma was born in 1964 in Hangzhou) and worked as the director of hardware research and development at an IT company.
    The clarifications led to a rebound, with Alibaba recovering the majority of its losses by the day's end.
    The market's roller coaster reaction is the latest sign of just how skittish investors are getting over China's embattled tech sector, which has been a target of the Chinese government's heavy-handed regulatory crackdown since late 2020.
    Despite recent signals from the Chinese government it is preparing to rollback the campaign due to the economic impact, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the market frenzy on Tuesday indicates investor confidence remains shaky.
    "I thought this was kind of an odd episode," said Victor Shih, a political science professor at the University of California San Diego. "Whether that was a warning of sorts to the technology sector as a whole, or perhaps Jack Ma personally. Who knows? But it's certainly demonstrated the government does not even have to arrest a senior technology executive to erase tens of billions of dollars from a company's market valuation. It just needs to release some kind of information," Shih added.
    "That's quite powerful. And certainly what happened yesterday was a clear illustration of that power, whether it was delivered or not."

    Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, in Paris in 2019.
    But the fact investors were so quick to believe Jack Ma, once China's most high-profile billionaire, would fall afoul of state security authorities reveals something of the political reality many Chinese tycoons now live in.
    "It doesn't really matter anymore if it's really him. The important thing is: a lot of people think it's him, a lot of people expect it to be him, now that is interesting," said a popular comment on Weibo, which drew 57,000 likes.
    The turn in public sentiment against Ma is almost as spectacular as his rags to riches story. Until about three years ago, the English teacher-turned billionaire was widely worshiped for his charisma, outspokenness and self-made success. (He was even nicknamed "Daddy Ma" by some fans).
    But as tech companies like Alibaba expanded their businesses empires, they've become the target of growing frustration and resentment among young Chinese workers who are fed up with gruelingly long work hours, high pressure and stagnant pay. (Jack Ma's endorsement of China's so-called "996" work culture, meaning working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week, drew intense criticism in 2019.)
    As tech giants fell under the crosshairs of the Chinese government, "evil capitalists" have been increasingly blamed for various social ills, from relentless competition, skyrocketing property prices to lack of social mobility.
    "Within just a few years, 'Daddy Ma' has been labeled as a 'rotten capitalist' in public opinion, and many people are looking forward to Ma's downfall," Xiang Dongliang, a blogger, wrote on WeChat.
    "But the question is, will bringing down capitalists and driving out (so-called) foreign forces really make everyone's life better?"
    Jack Ma has mostly faded from public life and kept a low profile since Ant Group's IPO in the US was halted by regulators in late 2020. Once among the most outspoken figures in China, he hasn't posted anything on Weibo, where he has nearly 25 million followers, since October 2020.
    His last Weibo post, about a meeting with some 100 school principals to discuss the future of China's education, was flooded with critical comments.
    "I won't be surprised if old Ma is jailed one day," the top comment said. "You're just a capitalist! Don't pretend to be a good person!" another comment screamed.
    Jack Ma remained silent throughout Tuesday, as rumors against him swirled on the Chinese internet. Hashtags about the detention of the suspect surnamed Ma were among the top trending topics on Weibo, drawing hundreds of millions of views.
    "He has only silence, which is a 'special way of existing'," Zhang Feng, a columnist, wrote in a widely shared WeChat article following the incident.
    "This kind of silence is of profound significance. For a public figure, his speech itself is an 'extension' of his existence. When a person no longer speaks up, although he is still alive, still doing things, at least part of him has 'vanished'."
    Wow. That's a lot of cash lost on fake news...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #87
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    in Japan


    Jack Ma living in Japan after China tech crackdown: Report



    Billionaire Jack Ma reportedly plans to hand over control of Ant Group to appease Chinese regulators. (Photo: AFP)

    30 Nov 2022 11:46AM
    (Updated: 30 Nov 2022 11:46AM)

    TOKYO: Alibaba founder Jack Ma has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China's crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday (Nov 30), citing multiple unnamed sources.

    The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the IPO of Ma's Ant Group and issuing Alibaba with record fines.

    But the FT said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the United States and Israel.

    The British newspaper said Ma has frequented several private members' clubs in Tokyo, and become an "enthusiastic collector" of Japanese modern art, as well as exploring expanding his business interests into sustainability.


    Jack Ma, co-founder and former executive chairman of Chinese Alibaba Group is pictured in Santa Ponsa, on the island of Mallorca on Oct 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Jaime Reina)

    WHERE IS JACK MA?

    Ma has been spotted elsewhere since he effectively disappeared from public view in China, including on the Spanish island of Mallorca last year.

    In recent years, Chinese officials have taken aim at alleged anti-competitive practices by some of the country's biggest names, driven by fears that major Internet firms control too much data and expanded too quickly.

    This July, a report said Ma planned to hand over control of Ant Group to appease Chinese regulators and revive the digital payments unit's initial public offering.

    His e-commerce giant Alibaba reported flat revenue growth in August for the first time, as China battled an economic slowdown and resurgent COVID-19 cases.

    US authorities have put the company on a watchlist that could see it delisted in New York if it does not comply with disclosure orders, causing its shares to slump.

    Source: AFP/zl
    Been wondering...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #88
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    Another sighting

    Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Alibaba who disappeared from public view in 2020, appears to resurface in Thailand as he prepares to give up control of his company
    Ryan Hogg Jan 7, 2023, 2:33 AM


    Jack Ma stepped away from public view in 2020 after criticizing Chinese authorities. Stephane Mahe/Reuters

    Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, appeared to resurface in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday.
    The picture of Ma was posted hours before Ant Group said Ma was giving up control of the company.
    Ant Group abandoned a blockbuster float in 2020 soon after Ma criticized Chinese regulations.

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    Jack Ma, the elusive billionaire founder of Alibaba, appeared to resurface in Thailand hours before Ant Group said he would give up control of the company.

    Jay Fai restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand posted a picture of Ma on Instagram Friday, where he appears to have just visited the restaurant. "Incredibly humble, we are honored to welcome you and your family to Jay Fai's," the caption on the post reads.

    A post shared by JAY FAI (เจ๊ไฝ)⭐️ (@jayfaibangkok)
    The post was published hours before The Wall Street Journal first reported that Ma was preparing to give up control of the company he founded.

    According to local media, and reported by Reuters, Ma was at the restaurant with Soopakij Chearavanont, the chair of the Charoen Pokphand Group.

    Ma was also apparently pictured at a Muay Thai fight on Thursday posing in a fighting stance for a photograph with the Thai boxing champion Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek.

    In a statement published Saturday, a spokesperson for Ant Group, which owns the world's largest mobile-payment platform, Alipay, said the company was streamlining voting rights to prevent any one shareholder from having a controlling vote.

    The move would "further enhance the stability of our corporate structure and sustainability of our long-term development," according to the statement.

    Ma disappeared from public view in October 2020 after giving a speech criticizing China's financial-regulation system.

    Ant Group abandoned plans to list the company on the stock market the following month when Beijing intervened. Once China's richest man, Ma's net worth has fallen by more than $25 billion since he disappeared from public view, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

    While Ma doesn't hold an executive role or sit on Ant Group's board, he maintained influence through a separate entity he controlled. The changes announced on Saturday are the latest in a sweeping overhaul at the behest of Chinese authorities.

    Ma has maintained a very low profile since his run-in with authorities. The Financial Times suggested in November that he had been living in Tokyo for six months, staying out of the public view and mainly socializing in private members' clubs.

    Some think the move could revive hopes of floating Ant, per Reuters, but Chinese regulations that require a pause on listings following a change in control may delay such a move by at least a year.
    There's some IG links in the original article that I'm not copying here, just because it's not easy to do so...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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