Sunday, November 27, 2022

Beijing’s aim to divide AliPay rocks Chinese tech stocks

Amidst Beijing’s latest regulatory wave to impose dominion on its tech sector, China’s Big Tech shares drastically dropped on Monday as the country’s watchdogs intend to break down Ant Group Co.’s Alipay, at a speed the U.S. and the European Union cannot fathom or dare to indulge in. 

Following a Financial Times report stating that Beijing is planning on breaking up Ant Group’s Alipay and forcefully create independent loans apps, Alibaba shares plunged by 4.23 percent in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with a share valuation closing at $165.41, as of the time of writing, according to Nasdaq.

Alibaba’s drop in shares trickled down to a multitude of other Chinese tech stocks, with Tencent shares slipping by 2.45 percent clocking in a price of $61.43 per share, while Meituan shares plunged by 4.47 percent and closed its trading day with $63.75 per share as of the time of writing, according to Yahoo Finance. 

Hang Seng Tech index shares fell by 2.27 percent, following a 22 percent drop in valuation so far, with 11 percent recovered from an August low. 

Hang Seng represents 30 of the biggest technology hubs listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) with augmented business exposure to technological essence. 

Other Chinese tech firms have been severely affected by the regulatory decision.

On Monday, the country’s industry and Information Technology Minister Xiao Yaqing announced that China is experiencing an overload of electric vehicle (EV) companies emphasizing the importance of establishing a union to enhance its charging network and providing EV sales in rural markets. 

Following Yaqing’s statement, BYD Co. Ltd shares dropped by 2.14 percent at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) and currently stands at $41.78 per share, while Xpeng Inc. shares plunged by 2.35 percent in the HKSE and closed at $32.90 per share as of the time of writing, according to Yahoo Finance.

Late Friday, the government released a statement identifying that majority of China’s tech firms have failed to comply with the state’s regulatory legislation by not ensuring appropriate working conditions and rights in income and labor safety to their gig economy workers. 

The statement was a follow-up to a meeting conducted between four governmental agencies alongside ten major platform companies, including shopping platform Meituan, e-commerce giant Alibaba, and multinational technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd., partially state-owned internet tech company ByteDance, Baidu Inc., and smartphone vendors Xiaomi and Huawei.

“We firmly support the decision of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and we will implement it in stages,” said Tencent. 

As for the e-commerce titan, Alibaba demonstrated intentions of showing utter compliance with the ministry’s demands. 

On a separate note, China is setting an adamant goal of detaching and dividing online payment platform Alipay to release individualistic apps for loan business. As for the implementation of the authority’s scheme, regulators have already set into motion the leading steps to divide the backend of its main entity from the remainder of its financial offering and introduce foreign shareholders. 

“I believe the market is still finding the bottom valuation of Chinese internet stocks,” Asia’s chief investment officer for Private Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Holdings Plc, stated Fan Cheuk Wan said on Bloomberg TV.

China’s watchdogs have already demanded that Ant. Group must divide its two leading divisions Huabei and Jeibei, as the government is seeking to give these businesses their private platforms. 

The governmental plan also seeks to reinforce its loan decision to change Ant’s financial divisions to its latest, partly state-owned, disjointed credit scoring joint venture by forcing Alibaba’s financial affiliate company to relinquish its user data.

“The government believes that Big Tech’s monopoly comes from managing data. I want to end it,” said a source close to Beijing’s financial regulators.

Beijing’s complicated ripple of regulations and tactics to divide its tech firms to further establish its supremacy on its tech hubs seems to be overwhelming the sector’s lead players. These tactics could immensely affect the dynamic between the miscellany of the state’s tech companies while the government expands its reign on the tech sector. compendium