On March 12, the Wall Street Journal reported that China’s anti-monopoly authority was considering issuing a record-breaking fine.
The report quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that China’s antitrust authorities are considering imposing record-breaking fines on Alibaba. The amount exceeds the US$975 million that Qualcomm, a major US semiconductor company, was fined for anti-competitive behavior in 2015.
According to people familiar with the matter, Alibaba will also be required to stop the “choice of two” behavior. The competent authority determined that Alibaba will use this to punish merchants who also sell products on JD-like platforms. The competent authority is also considering whether to require Alibaba to release certain assets that are not related to the online retail business. These rectification measures require final approval.
”The Wall Street Journal” reported that the competent authority regards Ant Group as a risk to the financial system and is determined to make heavy efforts to rectify it. Compared with Ant Group, Alibaba is expected to be lifted high and put down gently.
Since October last year, Alibaba’s market value has evaporated by 25%, exceeding US$200 billion. Alibaba did not immediately respond to foreign media’s request for comment.
According to a number of foreign media reports, data from data provider IT Orange shows that from the suspension of Ant Group’s listing in November 2020 to the end of February 2021, Alibaba’s investment in acquisitions and stakes in startups has increased during the four months from November 2020 to the end of February 2021. In the past, it was about 6 billion U.S. dollars, which fell sharply to 2.7 billion U.S. dollars. If we count the three-month period from December to February, the decline was nearly 70%.
As Teacher Ma said, “Ali has never belonged only to Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will always belong to Ali.”