A manager at Alibaba’s sales unit was fired after allegedly sexually assaulting a female employee. The incident came to light after the female staffer reportedly posted an 11-page document on Alibaba’s intranet in which she accused a supervisor and a client of sexually assaulting her. “Regardless of gender, whether it is a request made by a customer or supervisor, our employees are empowered to reject it.” CEO Daniel Zhang said.
DiDi said that following a regulatory order to remove its app from the app store could damage the economy. Some other US-listed Chinese app firms were under investigation. Alibaba is under scrutiny for its $37 bn listings planned since last year. DiDi’s takedown comes two days after its debut in the New York Stock Exchange. DiDi is also facing antitrust charges by China’s market regulator.
Tata sons via Tata Digital have got their hands on a 64.3% stake in Alibaba-backed online grocery store, BigBasket. In March, India’s antitrust body approved the stake acquisition which came to fruition this month. The deal is said to be worth Rs 95 bn, which will buy out Alibaba’s stake in the e-grocer. Tata group is now a direct competitor to Amazon, Walmart, and Reliance. Tata Digital plans to launch its super app in 2022, with all facilities on a single platform.
Ant Group, as per news agency Reuters report, is looking for ways for founder Jack Ma to divest his stake and give up control in the fintech firm. Ma owns only a 10% stake in Ant but exercises control via related entities, as per Ant’s IPO prospectus. Chinese regulators, in a meeting earlier, had hinted to the Ant’s officials that Ma’s exit could help them to avoid Beijing’s intense scrutiny of its business, said the report citing a source.
Alibaba Group thanked the regulators in an open letter after the local authorities imposed a record antitrust fine on the internet giant. China’s regulatory wrapped up the probe in four months, compared with years such investigations take in the USA or Europe. The $2.8 bn fine was just 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue, far less than the maximum 10% allowed under Chinese law. Alibaba’s shares rose 5.5% in Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday morning.
Chinese authorities summoned Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance and eight other local tech firms over concerns of ‘deepfake’ tech on their content platforms. The country’s cyberspace administrator, in a statement, said that the officials of the public security ministry had a meeting with the tech firms to discuss “security assessments” and potential problems with deepfakes and audio social apps. Deepfakes use AI to create hyper-realistic but fake videos or audios.
Ant Group’s global investors, as per news agency Reuters, have valued the China-based fintech giant at over $200 bn. The calculation is based on Alibaba backed company’s 2020 performance. The valuation is 33% above Ant’s 2018 fundraising, but far below the $315 bn, had the company was listed in “the world’s largest IPO”. Investor and experts had hoped for a huge crashed after the authorities scuppered the $37 bn IPO days ahead of listing in Nov.
Beijing has asked Alibaba to dispose of its media assets, said a Wall Street Journal report. Alibaba, having a key interest in online retail, has stakes in Chinese Twitter- called Weibo, Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post and others. The report said that the Chinese government see such influence as a potential challenge to the Chinese Communist Party authority and its own powerful propaganda assets.