Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) cofounder Jack Ma (馬雲) is in Hong Kong for a series of meetings with tech and finance executives, sustaining a recent flurry of activity that has taken him round the world in the span of months.
The billionaire, who has kept a low profile since Beijing in 2020 singled out first Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and then Alibaba for regulatory overhauls, has been meeting prominent figures based in the territory, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported, citing anonymous sources.
Ma arrived in past few days, but his exact agenda remains unclear, a person familiar with the situation said, asking to remain anonymous.
Since late last year, Ma has gradually resumed the globe-trotting that once defined China’s best-known entrepreneur.
He spent time in Tokyo and the Japanese countryside before making his way to Thailand, where he toured food spots and reportedly attended a Muay Thai boxing match.
Before that, he visited the US and Israel, the Financial Times reported in November last year.
The executive — among China’s most recognizable faces — has been on the move since signs emerged that Beijing was relenting in a campaign to curtail the influence and power of Internet giants.
This month, Ma ceded controlling rights to his Ant fintech empire, which many observers took as a signal that the punishing crackdown was nearing an end.
Alibaba’s shares climbed as much as 3.4 percent in Hong Kong yesterday, outperforming the broader market.
Ma mostly disappeared from public view after giving a 2020 speech that criticized Chinese regulators — right before Beijing scuttled what would have been a record initial public offering (IPO) by Ant.
It triggered a series of regulatory probes and actions that targeted tech giants from Alibaba to Didi Global Inc (滴滴), wiped out growth at rivals such as Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), and forced private businesspeople to curtail their activities.
Regulators cracked down on Didi’s business in 2021 after the company pushed ahead with a more than US$4 billion US IPO against Beijing’s wishes.
However, Didi’s main apps have returned to the country’s biggest mobile stores, allowing the ride-hailing giant to resume growth after more than a year spent in regulatory limbo.
Its main ride-hailing app reappeared for download on the Chinese iOS store, as well as platforms run by Huawei Technologies Co (華為) and Xiaomi Corp (小米), searches run yesterday showed.
Relaunching the apps is a prerequisite for Didi to resume business as usual, and to eventually work toward listing its stock in Hong Kong.
“The market expects a listing in HKEx, but DIDI will need to introduce a government-trusted shareholder before the company gets support” from regulators, Bernstein analysts wrote this week.
“It also needs to increase license compliance rate,” they added.
Vaccine skeptics blocking transfusions for life-saving surgeries, Facebook groups inciting violence against doctors and a global search for unvaccinated donors — COVID-19 misinformation has bred a so-called “pure blood” movement. The movement spins anti-vaccine narratives focused on unfounded claims that receiving blood from people inoculated against COVID-19 “contaminates” the body. Some have advocated for blood banks that draw from “pure” unvaccinated people, while medics in North America say they have fielded requests from people demanding transfusions from donors who have not received a vaccine. In closed social media groups, vaccine skeptics — who brand themselves as “pure bloods” — promote violence against doctors
‘IT HURTS TOO MUCH’: After talks between Blizzard and NetEase over their contract broke down, servers hosting Blizzard’s games in China were shut down Millions of Chinese gamers have lost access to World of Warcraft after a furious dispute between US title owner Activision Blizzard Inc and NetEase Inc (網易), its longtime local partner in the world’s biggest gaming market. Devotees of the popular game took to social media networks to bemoan the loss, with one posting an image of a failed connection message accompanied by crying emojis. “It really hurts my heart,” one wrote. “It hurts, it hurts too much,” another said. Massively popular worldwide, particularly in the 2000s, World of Warcraft — often abbreviated as WoW — is an online multiplayer role-playing game set in
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday accused Alphabet Inc’s Google of abusing its dominance in digital advertising, threatening to dismantle a key business at the heart of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful Internet firms. The US government said Google should be forced to sell its ad manager suite, tackling a business that generated about 12 percent of Google’s revenues in 2021, but also plays a vital role in the search engine and cloud company’s overall sales. “Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” the
Auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Wolfspeed Inc plan to build a US$3 billion wafer factory in Germany’s Saarland to make chips for electric vehicles and other applications, a boon for a region dependent on combustion-engine components, according to people familiar with the matter The go-ahead for the project is subject to commitments on subsidies amounting to a quarter of the total investment, the people said, declining to be named discussing private information. ZF would hold a minority share in the factory with its US chipmaking partner, located in Ensdorf near Saarbrucken. ZF operates its largest factory nearby, where 9,000 employees