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US-listed shares in Alibaba dropped by 7% on Thursday, after Chinese regulators said they had opened an anti-trust investigation into the country’s largest technology business.
Separately, other watchdogs said they would have talks with Alibaba’s Fintech affiliate Ant Party. The Chinese government is growing its control of large tech firms and, in particular, has cracked down on Jack Ma’s technology empire.
US-registered shares in Alibaba, Ma’s e-commerce site, fell 7.1 per cent on Thursday’s pre-market trading to $238.02. This is expressed in losses overnight in Asia, where the Hong Kong-listed shares of the company were down 8.1 per cent. This was the biggest one-day decline in Alibaba’s Asia-registered shares since mid-November, when Ant’s IPO, which would have been the largest in the world, was pulled in the last minute after China implemented tighter financial services regulations.
Ma is also the co-founder of Ant and the second richest individual in China.
In separate statements released Thursday, both Alibaba and Ant Group said they had been notified about the regulatory actions and would cooperate, per The Wall Street Journal.