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Alibaba Group Holding Limited (9988.HK)

HKSE - HKSE Delayed Price. Currency in HKD
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219.800-1.800 (-0.81%)
At close: 4:08PM HKT
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Previous Close221.600
Bid219.600 x N/A
Ask219.800 x N/A
Day's Range219.000 - 222.400
52 Week Range190.300 - 309.400
Avg. Volume25,656,105
Market Cap4.77T
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.80
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target EstN/A
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      China Considers Tighter Rules for Firms Listing Overseas

      (Bloomberg) -- China’s securities regulator is weighing tighter rules for companies seeking to list in Hong Kong or overseas, a move that could hit technology firms already smarting from months of clampdowns, according to people familiar with the matter.The China Securities Regulatory Commission is considering proposals that would require firms seeking initial public offerings outside mainland China to submit listing documents to ensure they’re compliant with local laws and regulations, the people said. The scrutiny would also seek to prevent any leaks of sensitive data that might be of national security interest, the people added, requesting they not be identified as the matter is private. The discussions are preliminary and could be subject to change.When asked if it was considering such changes, the CSRC issued a brief denial without elaborating.The heightened regulatory concerns come as the U.S. tightens restrictions on Chinese firms listed on its exchanges, with legislation that requires the companies to allow inspectors to review their financial audits. China has long refused to let the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board examine audits of firms whose shares trade in America, citing national security interests.The measures, if rolled out, could have far-reaching implications for a raft of upstarts that are on the verge of going public. Among them are Bytedance Ltd., which is said to be weighing a listing of some of its China units, and ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, people familiar have said. The changes could also ensnare Chinese firms that already trade in foreign markets, requiring them to submit filings to regulators as well, one of the people said.China’s current rules require all locally registered companies and some firms with offshore registrations to seek approval from the securities watchdog when they list in Hong Kong or outside the country. However, many internet stars like Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., registered in places like Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands, fall outside the scope of the current regulations. The new rules would seek to lay out more specific reporting guidelines and standardize them across firms, one of the people said.It is unclear what impact any news rules may have for companies that operate a so-called Variable Interest Entity -- a vehicle through which virtually every major Chinese internet company attracts foreign investment and lists overseas.Regulators have issued a slew of measures placing greater scrutiny on the nation’s tech giants, curtailing their operations on everything from data collection and monopolistic practices. Among the orders issued by financial regulators in April were new guidelines on securitizing assets and seeking overseas listings.China has already tightened measures for listings on domestic exchanges including Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style Star board. It’s restricted listings of fintech companies, and banned IPOs by firms that operate mainly in real estate and sectors related to financial investment.The clampdown on tech firms led to the postponement of a $35 billion IPO by Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. in November. On orders from regulators, Ant must drastically revamp its business and will be supervised more like a bank, a move with far-reaching implications for its growth.(Updates with CSRC comment in third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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    • Facebook Chats Power a New $48 Billion Market in Social Commerce

      Facebook Chats Power a New $48 Billion Market in Social Commerce

      (Bloomberg) -- Samantha Proyrungtong, co-owner of an artisan food shop in downtown Bangkok, keeps three phones and a laptop glued to Facebook and Softbank Group-backed Line Corp.’s social-media app throughout the workday. She needs them not to hear from friends and relatives but to get orders from customers since her shop, Vivin Grocery, relies on chat applications for a big part of its sales of goat cheeses, locally sourced jams and organic vegetables.Throughout Southeast Asia, consumers’ affection for haggling and interacting with businesses is fueling a boom in social commerce. Unlike the U.S. or China, where most consumers do their internet shopping with established platforms run by companies like Amazon.com Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., in Thailand almost half of all e-commerce takes place through social media or chat rooms on Facebook, WhatsApp or Line’s app.Social commerce accounted for about 44% of Southeast Asia’s $109 billion e-commerce market last year, according to Bain & Co.Customers can talk directly with store employees or the owners themselves about prices and sales, and the relationships built through personal conversations have helped drive social commerce’s popularity.The rapid adoption of commerce via social media across the region could offer valuable lessons to internet giants like ByteDance Ltd. and Facebook’s Instagram, which are experimenting with the format as they try to disrupt the traditional styles of platform commerce.On a recent weekday afternoon, Proyrungtong received a message from a customer through one of the store’s official messaging accounts asking whether their double-duck sandwich was available. Proyrungtong messaged back to confirm the duck’s availability, quickly concluded the sale, confirmed receipt of payment via bank transfer and arranged a time for pick-up at the store, all via messages.“We saw the need to shift online and have a competitive platform that people can order easily off of,” she said, adding that managing customers can be challenging.“You need someone who can accommodate your customers and know your product,” said Proyrungtong, “so it’s not just having the channels to sell but also people to take care of it.”The pandemic has led global brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton as well as Thai brick-and-mortar retailers to register for accounts on Line, spurring a 25% annual growth in official accounts in 2020, said Norasit Sitivechvichit, chief commercial officer of Thailand’s most-used messaging platform, which charges retailers based on their messaging activity and number of followers.“Chat commerce has become a disruptor,” he said. “Not just small and medium-size enterprises are conducting chat commerce on Line, but also global and local corporate brands.”Southeast Asian countries are natural places for the model, said Alessandro Cannarsi, a Singapore-based Bain & Co. partner. “The fact that these are very young, tech savvy populations, especially on mobile, and they’re very entrepreneurial, encourages social commerce,” he said.Vietnam led the region, with social commerce accounting for 65% of its $22 billion online retail economy, compared to $4.2 billion in 2018. Social commerce revenue in Thailand grew from $3 billion three years ago to about $11 billion in 2020, half of the total e-commerce market.The popularity of personalized buying experiences and human-to-human conversations in an online shopping setting has led traditional retailers to allocate resources to chat platforms as shoppers remain home because of the pandemic. Thailand’s government in April announced new restrictions on malls, requiring them to shut by 9 pm from May, to curb a surge in Covid-19 infections.“Because of Covid-19, it grew very quickly at a much faster pace than many other channels,” according to Pimnara Hirankasi, acting head of Analytics and Intelligence Research Department at Bank of Ayudhya Pcl.’s Krungsri Research. “Having a seller present to respond to customers’ questions builds engagement while also creating more confidence for buyers before making their purchases.”In countries like India, the popularity of shopping through WhatsApp has led Reliance Industries Ltd. to target 20% of sales at its Hamleys toy stores through direct selling over the messaging application. The Facebook-owned messaging application added shopping carts into its chat rooms last year to court more merchants and tap onto its 2 billion user base to shop on its platform.A search for home decor, fashion accessories or tech gadgets on Facebook or Instagram will often lead shoppers to find businesses’ pages, wares offered and prices listed on social media profiles filled with carefully orchestrated photographs to make their pages look enticing, similar to a digital photo catalog or magazine.Natthapatt Sooppapipatt, a 21-year-old Thai university student, buys clothes, collectible figurines and accessories for her dogs from small stores through Instagram, and likes the way she can communicate with a real person via the app. “Receiving bot replies like ‘we will reach out to you’ or ‘we are a bit busy right now’ makes me feel scammed,” she said. “I want to talk to a human, someone who can understand my wants and concerns.”Unlike more established e-marketplaces, though, the chat applications on social media pages aren’t designed for commerce and don’t include payment systems, so customers need to use external payment methods, such as direct bank transfers or e-wallet services like Amazon Pay and GrabPay to finalize sales.The popularity of social commerce creates challenges for regulators. Independent vendors or individuals operating home businesses on social media platforms can offer cheaper prices in part because they often don’t include tax charges, and authorities have difficulty confirming that stores operating on social media pages pay the correct amount of tax, according to Sommai Siriudomset, a spokesperson for Thailand’s Revenue Department.Proyrungtong expects social commerce to become even more popular with her shop’s customers. “All of them are on social media, making it absolutely essential to have social media presence,” she said. “ It has become a part of mainstream culture.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.