Factbox-China crackdown wipes hundreds of billions off top companies’ values By Reuters
© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Tencent’s logo was displayed during the World Internet Conference, (WIC), in Wuzhen Zhejiang, China on November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s regulatory crackdown has ensnared sectors from technology to education to property, wiping hundreds of billions off the market capitalisations of some of its largest companies and putting investors on alert over who may be next.
Here are some of the largest names that have been affected so far:
The woes of China’s biggest e-commerce company began in late 2020 when China abruptly suspended the record $37 billion stock market debut of its financial affiliate Ant Group and later fined Alibaba (NYSE:) $2.75 billion for abusing its market dominance.
In the United States, shares of the company have lost more than $400billion since October. Jack Ma, founder of the company, gave a speech where he attacked China’s regulatory systems. The backlash by the government that ensued was widely recognized.
The regulators continue to take aim at Alibaba’s vast empire of businesses, ranging from algorithm use to worker privacy to employer protections.
China’s largest gaming and social media company has lost more than HK$2.7 trillion ($347.13 billion) in market value since its shares reached an all-time high in mid-February.
This company was penalized for not reporting past deals to antitrust regulators. Its $5.3 billion plan of merging China’s largest videogame streaming platforms was stopped. Additionally, it is prohibited from participating in music copyright arrangements.
Tencent’s involvement in China’s new efforts to curb gaming addiction among children has been a problem. Under-18 year-olds could not play video games more than 3 hours per week in August.
China’s largest ride-hailing company became the target of a cybersecurity investigation by Chinese authorities days after its New York initial public offering in June, who ordered its app to be removed from Chinese app stores and barred it from registering new users.
The company’s shares have seen a loss of $37 billion or 40% since its June 30, IPO raising $4.4 billion.
The state media has also criticised Didi for the pay it makes to its drivers. Reuters reports that Didi was in negotiations with Westone Information Industry Inc for data management, monitoring and other activities.
The food delivery company became the target of an antitrust probe in April and experienced a sell off in its shares a month later after its founder and Chief Executive Wang Xing posted an ancient poem on social media that was perceived by some as criticising the government and President Xi Jinping.
Meituan’s share has lost more than HK$1.2 billion ($154.28 million) since their February record. Other issues have been criticized, such as the treatment of delivery riders and violations of consumer rights.
NEW ORIENTAL EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY GROUP
China’s largest provider of private educational services has seen the market value of its U.S.-listed shares fall by $7.4 billion since July, when Beijing issued new rules barring for-profit tutoring on the school curriculum.
Beijing seeks to reduce pressure on schools and ease the cost burden for parents, which has led to an increase in birthrates. However analysts fear that these new rules could lead to the collapse of the private education sector.
Since then, the company has been working with its colleagues to encourage alternative classes like drama or even parent training.
($1 = 7.7781 Hong Kong dollars)
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