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China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba to be probed for alleged ‘monopoly conduct’

In a big development in China’s market ecosystem, country’s top market watchdog on Thursday started investigation into alleged anti-competition practices by e-commerce giant Alibaba. The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in a statement announced that, based on reports, it has filed investigations into Alibaba Group Holdings Co., Ltd. for suspected monopolistic conduct.

The fresh investigation follows the dramatic suspension of the planned $37 billion IPO of its affiliate Ant Group in November and the summoning of its founder billionaire Jack Ma by government officials, as well as the People’s Bank of China, to “provide views regarding the health and stability of the financial sector”. Regulators will also hold “supervisory and guidance” talks with Alibaba’s gigantic financial services subsidiary Ant Group, state media reported. The news led to tumbling of Alibaba shares by more than 8 per cent in Hong Kong, as per reports.

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