Alibaba could face yet more fines as Chinese regulator launches anti-trust investigation into joint venture


Alibaba could face yet more fines from the China’s market regulator as a new investigation is launched into its joint venture with Minmetals Development.

The Chinese ecommerce giant was slapped with a $2.8 billion fine by market regulators earlier this month as part of a widespread anti-trust investigation into previous tie ups.

Alibaba’s fine, the largest corporate fine ever handed out by Chinese authorities, is seen by many as a signal of the government’s plans to crackdown on big tech companies in the country.

Despite being hit with the record fine Alibaba’s shares jumped significantly last week, adding $2.3 billion to its founder’s net wealth, as investors believe it signified the end of an antitrust investigation which has been ongoing since October.

READ MORE: Alibaba’s $2.8bn fine saw founder Jack Ma’s net worth jump $2.3bn

However, regulators have now launched another investigation into Alibaba’s joint venture with Minmetals, potentially leading to further fines and restrictions on its operations.

According to Reuters, Alibaba and Minmetals launched the joint venture in 2015, seeing the retailer transfer its 44 per cent stake to an unrelated firm in 2019.

Alibaba declined to comment on the investigation, but Minmetals told Reuters that the tie-up “did not involve any violation of the anti-monopoly law, and there was no damage to the interests of customers, consumers, and investments.”

It added that it didn’t expect the investigation to have an adverse impact on its operations.

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