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BABA

Alibaba Group Holding Limited American Depositary Shares each representing one New York Stock Exchange
$258.65
Open: $264.5 High: $268.5 Low: $255 Close: $258.54
Range: 2021-01-21 - 2021-01-22
Volume: 31,705,782
Market: Closed
Powered by Finage Stock APIDelayed data
BABA
Alibaba Group Holding Limited American Depositary Shares each representing one c/o Alibaba Group Services Limited Hong Kong , http://www.alibabagroup.com
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is an online and mobile commerce company. It operates China's most popular online marketplaces such as Taobao (C2C), Tmall (B2C), and Juhuasuan. It also engages in advertising, digital media, cloud computing, and other.
  • CEO: Yong Daniel Zhang
  • Employees: 86,833
  • Sector: Consumer Cyclical
  • Industry: Retail - Apparel & Specialty
BABA News
Latest news about the BABA
  • Do You Own These 3 Top Tech Stocks Yet?

    Speaking of businesses flying high right now, three Fool.com contributors think NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), Fastly (NYSE: FSLY), and Sea (NYSE: SE) are worth considering if you don't own them yet -- even after triple-digit percentage returns in 2020. Nicholas Rossolillo (NVIDIA): This top semiconductor company is no secret. Driven by its graphics processing technology (historically the realm of high-end video games), NVIDIA has been finding all sorts of new outlets for its chip designs.

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  • Alibaba (BABA) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

    Alibaba (BABA) closed the most recent trading day at $258.62, moving -0.53% from the previous trading session.

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  • Alibaba Is in the Crosshairs of an Irate Chinese Government

    If 2020 was the year that all things e-commerce leaped to the fore, then you have to wonder whether someone forgot to tell the folks at China’s Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA). For while shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) killed it, spiking some 74%, those who held BABA stock saw share prices rise very modestly. The S&P 500 also fared much better, rising 16%. Source: Nopparat Khokthong / Shutterstock.com But wasn’t Alibaba supposed to be the next ginormous thing? In 2014, its initial public offering (IPO) raised an unheard-of $21.8 billion, making it the biggest in history. For certain, those who got in on that ground floor have seen their investment more than triple. So if you’re sitting on the sidelines wondering whether BABA stock is for you, 2020’s tepid showing offers cause for concern. Yes, you can buy everything on Alibaba from cryptocurrency mining machines to shameless music-gear knockoffs that don’t even bother to change the product name. But you can’t snag a Wall Street Magic 8-Ball that says “short,” “long” or “ask me another question.” Which is where I come in.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips BABA Stock and the Curious Analyst Lovefest Since mid-December, BABA stock has done one mighty fine rollercoaster impersonation. It dropped almost 15% one week and then rose 8% between Jan. 12 and 15. What gives? As they say in many a relationship, it’s complicated. First, the really, really good news: 47 out of 51 analyst call this stock a buy. So who needs an alibi to buy Alibaba, Bubba? To be sure, the analyses factor in concrete calculations such as price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios. BABA stock has a healthy one at 32.75, meaning that it only takes $32 and change to buy $1 of company profit. Compare that to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). It checks in at 1,570, higher than Cheech & Chong in that 1978 cinematic classic, “Up in Smoke.” 7 Great Sub-$20 Stocks to Buy After Inauguration Day So why not run out and buy some BABA stock now? Not so fast, my InvestorPlace peeps. I’ve always been about the bigger story, and in this case, the analysts need to spend less time watching their Bloomberg terminals and more time watching the news. A Chinese Government Reckoning Cofounder and former executive Jack Ma called for financial reform, which is not such a smart move when Chinese government officials are in the audience. He also criticized the nation’s banking system for having a “pawnshop” mentality stuck in the Industrial Age. One can guess Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping wasn’t pleased. Not one bit. Keep in mind we’re talking about an autocrat dubbed by his adversaries as “the Chairman of Everything.” Xi Jinping personally scuttled Ant Group’s IPO. Then in November the Chinese government announced it was investigating Alibaba on antitrust grounds. Maybe that’s not the sort of attention you want right now in a Chinese stock. Without Question, Invest Somewhere Else No Wall Street analyst I have ever encountered can predict with any certainty how the Chinese government will crack down on business leaders within its borders. About the closest thing I can think of for an analog is how the Hong Kong democracy protests of 2020 ground to a screeching halt once the mainland instituted its new security law. Suffice to say: You don’t mess with the Chairman of Everything — for anything. And so, while politics and investment usually collide at glancing angles, we have with BABA stock a head of steam for a head-on collision. True, Ma is not the CEO anymore. But he remains on the board and serves as the public face of Alibaba. Alibaba’s fate is not isolated. As a recent CNN story pointed out, all of Chinese Big Tech is in an “existential crisis.” In fact, Beijing is calling its anti-monopoly efforts against online platforms “one of the most important goals for 2021.” And so here we are. In case you didn’t get the point: Stay away from BABA stock. I’ll pit my logic against that of those 47 analysts any day. BABA stock wasn’t a great performer to begin with. And now this? To quote what the Brits used to say back in the day, “Not for all the tea in China.” On the date of publication, Lou Carlozo held a long position in TSLA. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. The post Alibaba Is in the Crosshairs of an Irate Chinese Government appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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  • ContextLogic: WISH Stock Could Deserve A Place on Your Wish List

    Founded in 2010, San Francisco-based ContextLogic (NASDAQ:WISH) is a fast-growing global e-commerce platform focusing on discounted goods. Since going public in mid-December 2020, WISH stock has returned over 10% and is currently hovering at $26. Source: sdx15 / Shutterstock.com Wish’s platform is based on a personalized and visual browsing experience. One could compare it to how one browses around in a physical store. Therefore, the company has been able to generate significant buzz around its platform and app. The Wish app has become one of the most downloaded global shopping apps in the past several years. Currently, the company has more than 100 million monthly active users as well as over 500,000 merchants around the world.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Today’s article discusses what investors can expect from WISH stock in the early part of the year. If you are not yet a shareholder, you could consider starting a position in WISH shares, especially if declines toward $22.50 or lower. As it is still early days for the group, the road ahead could be choppy. However, I expect the shares to create significant shareholder value in the coming quarters. Recent Earnings Global e-retail sales hit $3.53 trillion in 2019. Then came the exponential growth in 2020. Consumers were already drifting towards online shopping before the coronavirus pandemic became the dominant force in our lives. Last year, the move to e-commerce has gained further momentum, as many retailers have been temporarily closed all over the world. 7 Great Sub-$20 Stocks to Buy After Inauguration Day Meanwhile, investors are looking for the next Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Shopify (NASDAQ:SHOP) to bet their fortunes on. Therefore, a recent IPO like WISH stock gets significant headlines. The company released Q3 earnings in mid-December and painted a mixed financial picture. Revenue was $606 million and increased by 33% YoY. Net loss was $99 million compared to a loss of $134 million a year ago. When looking at the metrics for the first nine months of 2020, analysts were concerned to see a net loss of $176 million. A year ago, it had been a net loss of $5 million in the same period. Put another way, despite the growth, ContextLogic’s profitability metrics are headed in the wrong direction. CEO Peter Szulczewski said, “Based on data, we will both double down and pull back on various initiatives as we continually pursue better performance and results. We have made great progress to date, but we are still in the very early days of our journey and are excited for what lies ahead.” Despite the growth in revenue, the stock is richly valued. It currently has a market capitalization of about $15 billion. Although the company potentially has a lot of room to run, the short-term moves in the share price may not necessarily be smooth sailing. Furthermore, there are question marks around the quality of products sold on the platform. By selling discounted goods, ContextLogic has definitely created a niche for itself. However, the lower-quality has also created customer complaints. The issue of quality may create headwinds for WISH stock. The Bottom Line in WISH Stock The Street’s interest in e-commerce stocks is likely to continue in the new year. The “stay-at-home, work-from-home” trend of last year has contributed to the growth of online shopping worldwide. As a result, e-commerce apps have become among the most popular apps downloaded on smartphones. The Street also has a big appetite for new offerings. However, it is important to remember that WISH stock does not yet have a long trading history. Also, the company is still unprofitable. As I find WISH stock frothy at these levels, I’d wait to invest until the next earnings statement is released. Therefore, if you have a two- to three- year horizon, you could consider investing in the shares if WISH stock declines toward $22.50 or even lower. Meanwhile, in the long-run, the company could also find itself a takeover candidate. Investors who are not yet ready to commit capital into WISH stock could also consider investing in an exchange traded fund (ETF) focusing on e-commerce. Examples include the Amplify Online Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:IBUY), the Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (NYSEARCA:EMQQ), the Global X E-Commerce ETF (NASDAQ:EBIZ), the ProShares Online Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:ONLN). Similarly, those market participants who are interested in participating in the growth of newly listed companies may consider the First Trust US Equity Opportunities ETF (NYSEARCA:FPX), the Renaissance IPO ETF (NYSEARCA:IPO), or the First Trust IPOX Europe Equity Opportunities ETF (NASDAQ:FPXE). On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. Tezcan Gecgil has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. The post ContextLogic: WISH Stock Could Deserve A Place on Your Wish List appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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  • XPeng Stock Will Electrify Your Portfolio

    In recent years one of the hottest themes on Wall Street is ESG investing. The idea of saving the planet is not new, but companies’ openly public commitment to it is. At the heart of it is the onslaught of electric vehicles (EVs) that is threatening to become the new norm. The internal combustion engine (ICE) has a serious fight on its hands. Companies like XPeng (NYSE:XPEV) and Nio (NYSE:NIO) are in the trenches of this battle. XPeng stock already shows scars but no battle fatigue yet. And it is definitely a wild one to watch. Source: Andy Feng / Shutterstock.com Both of these companies and hundreds more are trying to bust through the door that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) kicked open. The action in XPEV stock is dizzying but the bulls are definitely winning. It’s up 174% in three months. One thing is clear now, EVs are here to stay. How much inroad they will make eating away at the ICE lead is not set. But since the world is producing only three million EVs versus more than 80 million ICEs, I’d say there is room for profit.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips XPeng will have access to a huge addressable market for years to come. China’s market alone is massive and XPeng has good allies like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) in its corner. It would take a colossal collection of mistakes or bad luck to mess this up. The easy thesis on XPeng stock is to own it for the long term. This is easier said than done because of how fast it trades. It will take extreme intestinal fortitude to ignore the bad stints. I got my initiation into this recently by actively trading it. The breakout from $126 per share drew me in so I pounced long via XPEV call options. I timed it right because that darn thing delivered 20% in a flash. True to my style of trading, I booked the profits about five points early and high-fived myself. XPeng Stock Is Volatile So Plan the Position Well Source: Charts by TradingView 7 Great Sub-$20 Stocks to Buy After Inauguration Day The important bit about this is that investors needs to know their goals. If the aim is to invest in the future then it is futile to try and surgically time the entry. Take a small piece of the total order now and add to it over time. The only reason you would sell is if the opportunity strays from your current reason to own XPeng stock. Actively trading it is OK because it is an exciting ticker which offers a lot of opportunities. But for that purpose I suggest acquiring a few tools to better the odds of winning. The trading field is very competitive and the average retail investor is likely a step behind. Long term, there will be ups and downs and managing the position on bad days is important. I do caution against averaging down; it is a bad idea on newer stocks like XPEV. Don’t confuse this notion with my earlier suggestion of several entries. I don’t increase the maximum trade size that I intend to own. If I want to only own 100 shares total and I buy them all today, I don’t add on dips. In essence I don’t “double down” on my full position. Earlier I suggested taking smaller bites to start. In that scenario it’s OK to build upon it to get to the 100 share goal. Doing so spreads the same risk over time. Among a sea of new-comer EV companies at least XPeng has models it can sell now. Their newer introductions include driver assist technology. This concept fits well with the new themes in auto tech and they are right there with it. Just since November, XPEV stock rallied up 240% then down more than 50%, followed by +50%. Clearly you need a neck brace and a high tolerance for risk to own it. Investors can make that easier by simply labeling it as a speculative trade. Every portfolio can benefit from having a small portion of risk. By definition those should remain small so that if they fail they don’t break the piggy bank, just hearts. In spite of its fandom, XPeng stock’s success is still iffy in the long run. Not all good ideas survive, history is full of sad stories of good things gone extinct. On the date of publication, Nicolas Chahine did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. The post XPeng Stock Will Electrify Your Portfolio appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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  • Caught In Beijing’s Crosshairs, Alibaba Stock Has Become Riskier

    Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is an e-commerce juggernaut. Some would even call it the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) of China, and that’s not inaccurate. These days, however, BABA stock is disconnected from sound fundamentals, introducing significant risk for investors. Source: Colin Hui / Shutterstock.com BABA stock reflects that risk, residing almost 24% below its 52-week high. The saga started last year when Alibaba founder Jack Ma sought to bring the fintech arm of his empire, Ant Group, public. The goal was to raise at least $30 billion, which would have shattered initial public offering (IPO) records, but Ma used some unusual tactics, drawing the ire of Beijing in the process. Today, Ant remains a private company, Alibaba is flailing and perhaps most concerning to investors is that Ma hadn’t been seen in public in months until just this week.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips There has been speculation that Ma was simply trying to keep a low profile in the wake of the Ant imbroglio and that very could well be the case. Still, someone can keep a low profile and still allow a photo of himself to be snapped. Missing copy for url #1. Please edit. Url #1 is an external link. Please edit. The uncertainty around surrounding Ma certainly isn’t a near-term positive for Alibaba investors. BABA Stock: Fears of Nationalization Compounding investors’ woes is the fact that Alibaba is now in Beijing’s regulatory crosshairs in an antitrust kind of way. “Based on tip-offs received by the State Administration for Market Regulation in recent days, the administration will be investigating Alibaba … for suspected monopolistic activities,” according to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). CCP claims Alibaba took steps to prevent sellers from listing items they featured on Alibaba on the platforms of rivals JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) and Pinduoduo (NASDAQ:PDD). The CCP heat is leading to speculation Beijing could nationalize Alibaba. In the pantheon of emerging markets state-controlled companies, rare are the examples of those firms being e-commerce companies. Historical data confirm emerging markets investors are left yearning for more with state-run companies. Over the past three years, the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Ex-State Owned Enterprises ETF (NYSEARCA:XSOE) beat the MSCI Emerging Markets Index by almost 1,300 basis points. There are no guarantees Alibaba will be nationalized, but if it is, there’s a credible chance the underlying investment thesis takes a major hit. Alibaba Needs Change of Narrative In more sanguine times, the Alibaba conversation would revolve around the massive opportunity that is China’s online retail market, looming growth at the hands of a rising middle class and increasing internet penetration and a burgeoning cloud computing business. That isn’t the case today, meaning Alibaba needs to shift the narrative. Doing so under intensifying pressure from Beijing is a difficult task. That’s the vexing thing about BABA stock right now. It’s an excellent fundamental story being torn apart by an inhospitable government. Until that situation cools off, investors should exercise extreme caution with the once revered Alibaba. On the date of publication, Todd Shriber did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. Todd Shriber has been an InvestorPlace contributor since 2014. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. The post Caught In Beijing’s Crosshairs, Alibaba Stock Has Become Riskier appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alibaba, Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Google and NextEra Energy

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alibaba, Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Google and NextEra Energy

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  • Where Will Alibaba Be in 1 Year?

    The past year has been a volatile one for Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), China's largest e-commerce and cloud platform company. The stock price fell with the broader market as the COVID-19 pandemic hit China in early 2020, but rebounded as its online sales rose and stay-at-home measures boosted the usage of its cloud services. Chinese regulators suspended the long-awaited IPO of Alibaba's fintech affiliate Ant Group, fined Alibaba for its unapproved takeover of InTime Retail, then launched an antitrust probe into its e-commerce business.

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  • 15 Largest Global IPOs of All Time

    In this article we are going to list the 15 largest global IPOs of all time. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest global IPOs of all time. Most people hate having to work 9-5 in an office, where they have to get up really early, get dressed, fight rush hour traffic, […]

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  • Alibaba-Backed Ant Group's Valuation Estimated To Drop To $108B

    Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA)-backed Ant Group's valuation is estimated to be around $108 billion, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.What Happened: This would be less than half of the $250 billion estimated valuation for Ant when it sought to go public late last year.China's draft proposals on financial technology is the primary contributing factor in this valuation plunge, as per Bloomberg analysts.Ant's popular payments service Alipay in particular could see its valuation halved under the regulations, as per analyst Francis Chan."Ant Group's valuation may plunge further if its payment unit is forced to break up due to potential anti-trust probes by China's central bank," Chan said.Why It Matters: Ant has faced trouble with the Chinese authorities ever since co-founder Jack Ma, the country's most-famed billionaire, made comments critical of Chinese regulations at an event in Shanghai in October.Ma was laying low in light of the increased scrutiny but reappeared in public for the first time in months, earlier this week.Price Action: Alibaba shares closed 2% lower at $260 in New York on Thursday.Read Next: Why Jack Ma's Reappearance Isn't Enough To Calm Alibaba InvestorsSee more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Why This Analyst Is Cautioning Bitcoin Investors To Have A 'Very Strong Stomach' Amid Plunge * Why XRP Is Outperforming Bitcoin Today(C) 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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  • Top Analyst Reports for Alibaba, Procter & Gamble & Wells Fargo

    Top Analyst Reports for Alibaba, Procter & Gamble & Wells Fargo

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  • Ant Group’s Valuation Seen Dropping to $108 Billion on Crackdown

    (Bloomberg) -- Ant Group Co.’s valuation may be cut further under new measures proposed by China to curb market concentration in its online payments market, according to new estimates from Bloomberg Intelligence.Jack Ma’s fintech giant may be worth less than 700 billion yuan ($108 billion) under the draft proposals, which could reduce the value of Ant’s Alipay service by half, according to senior analyst Francis Chan. Earlier this month, Chan lowered his Ant valuation to less than 1 trillion yuan, from about 1.44 trillion yuan.“Ant Group’s valuation may plunge further if its payment unit is forced to break up due to potential anti-trust probes by China’s central bank,” Chan wrote in a research note.The revised estimate for Ant is a far cry from valuations that ran as high as $320 billion before the company was forced to scrap its record initial public offering in November. China’s crackdown forced Ma’s firm to withdraw the $35 billion IPO just days before its planned listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.China’s central bank said on Wednesday that any non-bank payment company with half the market share for online transactions, or two entities with a combined two-thirds share could be subject to antitrust probes.If a monopoly is confirmed, the central bank can suggest the cabinet impose restrictive measures including breaking up the entity by its business type. Firms already with payment licenses would have a one-year grace period to comply with the new rules, the central bank said.Alipay, with about 1 billion users, controls 55% of the mobile payments market. A break up could reduce its 600 billion yuan valuation in half, Chan said, adding it’s questionable whether Ant can relaunch its IPO this year.Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which holds a stake in Ant, fell 2.5% in Hong Kong after rallying 8.5% on Wednesday after Ma emerged in public for the first time since China began clamping down on his businesses, ending several months of speculation over his whereabouts.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Why Jack Ma's Reappearance Isn't Enough To Calm Alibaba Investors

    Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) co-founder Jack Ma reappeared in public view on Wednesday sending the company's shares soaring 5.5% in New York but concerns persist about the Chinese company's frayed relationship with its government.Investors are seeking more reassurance on the regulatory environment surrounding the e-commerce giant. Here's what they are saying:Just Appearing Is Not Enough: William Huston, founder of Bay Street Capital Holdings, a California-based investment advisory firm said, "We all know that just because he showed up ... doesn't necessarily explain what is going on." Huston's firm has reduced its position in Alibaba from 8% of the portfolio to less than 1%, reported Reuters. See Also: Alibaba Shoots Up 8.5% As Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance In Months"When you don't know what to do in an evolving situation like this you can't use traditional securities analytics to reach decisions. We are standing aside and watching," said David Kotok, chief investment officer at Florida's Cumberland Advisors.Jack Ma's Value: Investors also place value on the leadership that Ma provided to the Chinese conglomerate. Houston said, "One of our top criteria is leadership and we were investing in Alibaba because I really respect Jack Ma as a leader."Alibaba Still In Hot Water: The reappearance of the company's founder does not mean Alibaba is in the clear."Alibaba is not out of the doghouse, but at least it's clear that the current anti-monopoly drive is not about punishing Jack Ma," said Zhang Fushen, Senior Analyst at Shanghai PD Fortune Asset Management, Al Jazeera reported.See Also: The Ant Financial IPO Is Xi Jinping's Latest Battle With Big BusinessBrock Silver, managing director at Kaiyuan Capital, a Hong Kong-based private-equity fund noted that while Ma's reappearance is a sign that his relationship with China's regulatory authorities has stabilized, it doesn't imply that "Ma's corporate empire is free from worry," Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported."[Ma's] reappearance can only be a good thing. But it's unhelpful to speculate on the viability of an Ant Group listing at this point," said Wei Wei Chua, portfolio manager at Mirae Asset Global Investments Hong Kong, as per Straits Times. The investor was referring to the suspended mega IPO of Alibaba's fintech arm which fell through in November.Price Action: Alibaba shares closed 5.5% higher at $265.49 on Wednesday and gained 0.1% in the after-hours session in New York.Photo courtesy: World Economic Forum via WikimediaSee more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Alibaba Shoots Up 8.5% As Jack Ma Makes First Public Appearance In Months * PayPal Becomes First Foreign Company To Fully Own A Payments Platform In China(C) 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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  • Jack Ma’s Video Chat Prompts a $58 Billion Sigh of Relief

    (Bloomberg) -- He appeared for less than a minute and said nothing about the Chinese government clampdown that had left his business empire in crisis.But for investors who’d been waiting months to catch a glimpse of Jack Ma, the entrepreneur’s participation in a live-streamed video conference on Wednesday was enough to trigger a $58 billion sigh of relief. That’s how much Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s market value soared after a clip of Ma speaking to a group of teachers began circulating online -- his first public comments since disappearing from view late last year.Much about the future of China’s most famous businessman remains unclear. Yet analysts said Wednesday’s video was a sign that worst-case scenarios -- such as jail time for Ma or a government takeover of his companies –- are probably now off the table. It’s unlikely Ma would have participated in the event without at least tacit approval from Beijing; state-run media including the Global Times were among outlets that posted snippets of his talk or wrote stories about his appearance.“There’s still a lot of uncertainty on regulators’ next moves, but this does mean the status of Jack Ma is much better than a lot of people speculated,” said Fang Kecheng, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.Ma’s talk focused on philanthropic issues including the importance of narrowing income disparities and reviving China’s countryside, two big priorities for Xi Jinping’s Communist Party. While far from a mea culpa, the comments offered a stark contrast to Ma’s last public remarks in October, when the billionaire launched into an unusually strong rebuke of Chinese regulators and state-owned banks.Just a few days after that now-infamous speech at the Bund Summit in Shanghai, the government torpedoed Ma’s plan to take Ant Group Co. public in what would have been the world’s biggest-ever initial share sale. In the weeks that followed, authorities called for an overhaul of Ant’s business and began an antitrust probe of Alibaba.Few expect Ma’s change of tone will cause Beijing to back off its campaign to more tightly regulate Ant, Alibaba and the rest of China’s high-tech giants. But Wednesday’s market response suggests investors are beginning to price out the risk of a crackdown that would put the country’s richest entrepreneurs and most innovative companies in serious jeopardy.“Alibaba is not out of the doghouse, but at least it’s clear that the current anti-monopoly drive is not about punishing Jack Ma,” said Zhang Fushen, senior analyst at Shanghai PD Fortune Asset Management.Speculation about Ma’s whereabouts had intensified in recent weeks after it emerged that he skipped the recent taping of a Shark Tank-like TV program that he had created. Chinese authorities have in the past quietly detained billionaires that run afoul of the Communist Party.Ma’s resurfacing appeared to be carefully calibrated, according to Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. The video conference was part of an annual event Ma hosts to recognize rural teachers. A former English teacher himself, Ma spoke in a solemn tone about the need to create better education opportunities in China’s poorer areas.“Recently, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking. We made a firmer resolution to devote ourselves to education philanthropy,” Ma said. “Working hard for rural revitalization and common prosperity is the responsibility for our generation of businessmen.”It was “the perfect setting for Jack to reappear in the public spotlight,” Tang said. “The backdrop sees Jack in his roots as a humble school teacher versus being a haughty entrepreneur that doesn’t know his place. The whole scene allows him to show contriteness without being scripted.”Ant, which is controlled by Ma and part-owned by Alibaba, confirmed the authenticity of the video but declined to comment further.Ant had suffered a “considerable shock” after Beijing suspended its stock market listing, an event that was expected to value the company at over $300 billion, said James Anderson, a partner at Baillie Gifford, a significant investor in Alibaba. “It’s plain that there are less chances of it being extraordinarily profitable than there were before,” he told Bloomberg TV.The big question facing investors now: to what degree will Beijing keep tightening the screws on Ant, Alibaba and its peers? The early evidence suggests regulators aren’t in a hurry to let up. Just a few hours after Ma’s reappearance, China’s central bank released draft rules to curb market concentration in online payments, potentially dealing another blow to Ant and rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.The move is part of a wide-ranging campaign to rein in a generation of Chinese tech giants that Beijing views as wielding too much control over the world’s second-largest economy.Despite the regulatory overhang, Alibaba bulls at firms including Amber Hill Capital Ltd. and Pegasus Fund Managers Ltd. said easing concerns over Ma’s status might be enough to lift shares of the e-commerce company back toward its record high in October. That would imply a gain of about 15% in the Hong Kong-listed shares from their close on Wednesday.Alibaba slipped 2.2% at 9:31 a.m. local time on Thursday.Mitchell Green, a founding partner of Lead Edge Capital who holds shares of Alibaba, expects Ma to focus primarily on charity work going forward, a shift that began a few years ago. Green said he’s still optimistic about the long-term prospects for both Alibaba and Ant. “Both are very important to China’s economy and its people,” he said.(Updates with quote from Baillie Gifford investor on Ant)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • China Plans Online Payment Rules That May Hit Ant, Tencent

    (Bloomberg) -- China proposed measures to curb market concentration in its online payment market, potentially dealing another blow to financial technology giant Ant Group Co. and its biggest rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.The central bank said on Wednesday that any non-bank payment company with half of the market in online transactions or two entities with a combined two-thirds share could be subject to antitrust probes, according to draft rules released by the People’s Bank of China.If a monopoly is confirmed, the central bank can suggest the cabinet impose restrictive measures including breaking up the entity by its business type. Firms already with payment licenses would have a one-year grace period to comply with the new rules, the PBOC said.The rules present the strongest and most detailed message yet of regulators’ plans to curb monopolistic practices in the online payments industry. Ubiquitous in China, Ant and Tencent have transformed how consumers shop through their mobile apps that are used by a combined 1 billion people.The regulator also vowed “comprehensive” oversight of companies in the space, and their transactions with affiliated parties. It will step up supervision of any changes to shareholders or beneficiaries at payments firms, it said.“This shows there’s no let-up in regulatory tightening on the sprawling fintech businesses,” said Dong Ximiao, a researcher at Zhongguancun Internet Finance Institute. “The rules fill the void of defining market monopoly in China’s payments industry.”Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which holds stake in Ant Group, fell 2.1% in Hong Kong as of 9:32 a.m. after rallying 8.5% on Wednesday. Tencent gained 2.9%.Regulators shocked markets in November by suspending billionaire Jack Ma’s record initial public offering of Ant as they stepped up oversight. Ant has since been ordered to overhaul its business and an antitrust investigation was launched into affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.While they’ve stopped short of directly asking for a breakup of Ant, the central bank has stressed that the company needs to “understand the necessity of overhauling” and come up with a timetable as soon as possible.Ma emerged in public on Wednesday for the first time since China began clamping down on his businesses, ending several months of speculation over his whereabouts. Global investors are still seeking clarity on what the future holds for the world’s largest fintech firm.Mobile payments are only part of what contribute to online transactions, but they have become the most important platform in China. Alipay, the app operated by Ant, held 55.6% of the mobile payments market as of the second quarter last year, according to internet consultant iResearch. Tencent had a 38.8% share.Room for growth in online payments is limited after years of a head-to-head rivalry between Ant and Tencent’s Wechat Pay. Total transactions were 59.8 trillion yuan as of June 30, up 8.8% from a year earlier, according to iResearch. That’s sharply down from increases of 23% and 65% during the same period in 2019 and 2018, respectively.(Updates with shares in the seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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