Chinese authorities will investigate Alibaba’s market position. The company could have a monopoly position on the financial market, according to the country’s regulator.
The research comes from the Chinese state regulator for market regulation. It does not provide much information; In a brief statement, the market authority merely states that it is investigating Alibaba Group, billionaire Jack Ma’s powerful e-commerce platform. The investigation is said to be mainly about the way in which Alibaba favors or excludes business partners. Alibaba would also put pressure on sellers on its platforms not to sell products on other platforms.
At the same time, a separate investigation has also been opened into Alibaba subsidiary Ant Group. That investigation is carried out by the state bank of China and by the Chinese financial authorities such as the banking and trade regulator. That research focuses in particular on the position of AliPay that is being developed by Ant Group. AliPay is one of the most important payment methods in China. The survey would also focus on how Ant Group offers credit to small businesses and individuals. That could pose risks to China’s financial system, a source told the Wall Street Journal.
In recent years, China has wanted to take tougher action against alleged monopolies. Partly for this reason, Ant Group’s IPO was called off at the last minute in November. Alibaba and Ant Group have said they are cooperating with the investigations, according to the Wall Street Journal.