The Chinese Continue to Crack Down on “Unacceptable” Capitalist Behaviour
Last month we reported on Beijing’s crack down on Didi, following its IPO on the New York Stock Market. The next target has been privately owned academies and teaching establishments in China. EdTech outfits were one of the hottest investments in China’s post-COVID internet industry, pulling in more than $10 billion of venture funding last year from powerhouses like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and SoftBank Group Corp.
Meanwhile, China launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba Group and its holding company, Ant. This follows China’s dramatic suspension last year of Ant’s planned $37bn initial public offering, which had been on track to be the world’s largest, just 2 days before shares were due to begin trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong (see the Newsletter, Dec 2020). Chinese regulators have also warned Alibaba about the so-called “choosing one from two” practice under which merchants are required to sign exclusive cooperation pacts preventing them from offering products on rival platforms.
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