|Bid||219.88 x 1000|
|Ask||220.00 x 800|
|Day's Range||217.08 - 224.53|
|52 Week Range||90.94 - 354.82|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.05|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||22.16|
|Earnings Date||May 17, 2021 - May 21, 2021|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||349.24|
(Bloomberg) -- After China imposed a record antitrust fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the e-commerce giant did an unusual thing: It thanked regulators.“Alibaba would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service, and the critical oversight, tolerance and support from all of our constituencies have been crucial to our development,” the company said in an open letter. “For this, we are full of gratitude and respect.”It’s a sign of how odd China’s crackdown on the power of big tech has been compared with the rest of the world. Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook would likely not express such public gratitude if the U.S. government were to hit Facebook Inc. or Apple Inc. with record antitrust fines.But almost everything about China’s regulatory push is out of the ordinary. Beijing regulators wrapped up their landmark probe in just four months, compared with the years that such investigations take in the U.S. or Europe. They sent a clear message to the country’s largest corporations and their leaders that anti-competitive behavior will have consequences.For Alibaba, the $2.8 billion fine was less severe than many feared and helps lift a cloud of uncertainty hanging over founder Jack Ma’s internet empire. The 18.2 billion yuan penalty was based on just 4% of the internet giant’s 2019 domestic revenue, regulators said. While that’s triple the previous high of almost $1 billion that U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. handed over in 2015, it’s far less than the maximum 10% allowed under Chinese law.The fine came with a plethora of “rectifications” that Alibaba will have to put in place -- such as curtailing the practice of forcing merchants to choose between Alibaba or a competing platform -- many of which the company had already pledged to establish.Read more: China Fines Alibaba Record $2.8 Billion After Monopoly ProbeAlibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang on Saturday declared his company now ready to move on from its ordeal, while China’s Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily issued assurances that Beijing wasn’t trying to stifle the sector.The Hangzhou-based firm “has escaped possible outcomes such as a forced breakup or divestment of assets. The penalty will not shake up its business model, either,” said Jet Deng, an antitrust lawyer at the Beijing office of law firm Dentons.Still, neither Zhang nor state media addressed lingering questions around the extent to which Beijing remains intent on reining in its internet and fintech giants, a broad campaign that’s wiped more than $250 billion off Alibaba’s valuation since October. The e-commerce giant’s speedy capitulation also underscores its vulnerability to further regulatory action -- a far cry from just six years ago, when Alibaba openly contested one agency’s censure over counterfeit goods on Taobao and eventually forced the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to backtrack on its allegations.Beyond antitrust, government agencies are said to be scrutinizing other parts of Ma’s empire, including Ant Group Co.’s consumer-lending businesses and Alibaba’s extensive media holdings. And the shock of the crackdown will continue to resonate with peers from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. to Meituan, forcing them to tread far more carefully on business expansions and acquisitions for some time to come.What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysChina’s record fine on Alibaba may lift the regulatory overhang that has weighed on the company since the start of an anti-monopoly probe in late December. The 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine, to penalize the anti-competitive practice of merchant exclusivity, is equivalent to 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic sales. Still, the company may have to be conservative with acquisitions and its broader business practices.-- Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam, analystsClick here for the full research.The investigation into Alibaba was one of the opening salvos in a campaign seemingly designed to curb the power of China’s internet leaders, which kicked off after Ma infamously rebuked “pawn shop” Chinese lenders, regulators who don’t get the internet, and the “old men” of the global banking community. Those comments set in motion an unprecedented regulatory offensive, including scuttling Ant’s $35 billion initial public offering.It remains unclear whether the watchdog or other agencies might demand further action. Regulators are said, for instance, to be concerned about Alibaba’s ability to sway public discourse and want the company to sell some of its media assets, including the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper.Read more: China Presses Alibaba to Sell Media Assets, Including SCMPChina’s top financial regulators now see Tencent as the next target for increased supervision, Bloomberg News has reported. And the central bank is said to be leading discussions around establishing a joint venture with local technology giants to oversee the lucrative data they collect from hundreds of millions of consumers, which would be a significant escalation in regulators’ attempts to tighten their grip over the country’s internet sector.“The high fine puts the regulator in the media spotlight and sends a strong signal to the tech sector that such types of exclusionary conduct will no longer be tolerated,” said Angela Zhang, author of “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism” and director of the Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s a stone that kills two birds.”For now, it appears investors are just glad it wasn’t worse. In its statement, the State Administration for Market Regulation concluded Alibaba had used data and algorithms “to maintain and strengthen its own market power and obtain improper competitive advantage.” Its practice of imposing a “pick one from two” choice on merchants “shuts out and restricts competition” in the domestic online retail market, according to the statement.The firm will be required to implement “comprehensive rectifications,” including strengthening internal controls, upholding fair competition and protecting businesses on its platform and consumers’ rights, the regulator said. It will need to submit reports on self-regulation to the authority for three consecutive years.Alibaba said it will hold a conference call Monday morning Hong Kong time to address the antitrust watchdog’s decree. The company will have to make adjustments but can now “start over,” Zhang wrote in a memo to Alibaba’s employees Saturday.“We believe market concerns over the anti-monopoly investigation on BABA are addressed by SAMR’s recent decision and penalties,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a research note entitled “A New Starting Point.”Indeed, The People’s Daily said in its commentary Saturday that the punishment was intended merely to “prevent the disorderly expansion of capital.”“It doesn’t mean denying the significant role of platform economy in overall economic and social development, and doesn’t signal a shift of attitude in terms of the country’s support to the platform economy,” the newspaper said. “Regulations are for better development, and ‘reining in’ is also a kind of love.”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.
A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Baidu Inc of defrauding shareholders about its ability to comply with Chinese regulations governing internet content. In a Wednesday night decision, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected claims in the proposed class action that 12 statements that Baidu made from March 2019 to March 2020 were false and misleading and inflated the Beijing-based company's share price. The statements included that the world's largest search engine other than Alphabet Inc's Google had "cleaned up" harmful or questionable content such as material related to drugs, gambling and pornography, giving users more confidence and potentially boosting online traffic and revenue.
(Bloomberg) -- Online travel platform Trip.com Group Ltd. is seeking to raise as much as HK$10.5 billion ($1.4 billion) in a Hong Kong second listing, adding to the growing cohort of U.S.-traded Chinese companies selling shares in the Asian financial hub.Nasdaq-listed Trip.com is offering 31.6 million shares, according to a statement Wednesday. It has set a maximum price of HK$333 for the portion of the deal reserved for Hong Kong retail investors. That price translates into more than a 6% premium to the company’s closing price in New York on Tuesday, prior to the announcement.Trip.com’s American depositary shares closed 3.4% lower on Wednesday, giving the firm a market value of $23.3 billion.The company plans to price the offering April 13 Hong Kong time, the statement shows. One of Trip.com’s ADS is equivalent to one ordinary share.Trip.com is the fourth U.S.-listed Chinese firm to seek a trading foothold in Hong Kong this year. Search giant Baidu Inc., video streaming service Bilibili Inc. and car sales website Autohome Inc. raised a combined $6.4 billion in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The companies have been flocking to Hong Kong as a way to hedge against the risk of being kicked off U.S. exchanges as a result of rising Sino-U.S. tensions, as well as to bring in more Asia-based investors. Last year, such second listings raised $17 billion.Still, Trip.com’s share sale in the city comes as tech shares globally are losing their shine. Investors are rotating out of richly valued growth stocks into ones that are expected to benefit from a recovery of the global economy.Baidu has dropped 12% from its listing price in Hong Kong, while Bilibili’s second-listing shares have risen 8.2% after a lackluster debut which saw them close below their offer price.Trip.com, which owns travel search website Skyscanner, reported revenue of 18.3 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) last year, a 49% drop year-on-year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to its prospectus. It lost 3.27 billion yuan in 2020 after making a profit of almost 7 billion yuan in 2019. While a recovery in international travel has been slow as the pandemic eases, travel within China has rebounded thanks to its relative success in containing Covid-19.The company plans to use the proceeds from the listing to fund the expansion of its travel offerings, improve user experience and invest in technology.JPMorgan Chase & Co., China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are joint sponsors for Trip.com’s listing. HSBC Holdings Plc and CMB International Capital Ltd. are also helping lead the deal as joint global coordinators, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.ICBC International Securities Ltd., BOC International Holdings Ltd., CCB International Holdings Ltd., ABC International Holdings Ltd., DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. and Nomura Holdings Inc. are joint bookrunners, the filing shows.(Updates with ADS closing price 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.