Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Alibaba and Ant Group founder Jack Ma has become the focus of a regulatory crackdown.Credit: Alibaba Group HONG KONG – Since the Chinese authorities suddenly halted fintech conglomerate Ant Group’s planned initial public offering in autumn 2020, its parent company, e-commerce king Alibaba, has been facing harsh regulatory scrutiny. On Christmas Eve, China’s antitrust authority announced that it was investigating the firm’s exclusive business practices. And Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, recently eased concerns regarding his fate by appearing in public for the first time since last October, when he delivered a speech criticizing financial regulation in China. The mere announcement of the investigation into Alibaba wiped more than $100 billion off the firm’s market value overnight. Given the Chinese government’s huge regulatory power, investors are rightly anxious about Alibaba’s prospects. But the government’s sudden and aggressive move against the firm also reveals much about the regulatory regime’s weaknesses. To be sure, the Chinese goSubscribe or register to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.