The largest e-commerce company in the world, Alibaba, has declared plans to divide itself into six business groups, each of which will be able to raise outside capital and go public.
On Tuesday in New York, Alibaba stock increased by more than 14%, and on Wednesday, it increased by more than 13% in Hong Kong.
Because of worries about Beijing’s crackdown on the internet sector, its US-listed shares have dropped by over 70% since 2020.
Alibaba’s revamp “feels like a continuation of the government restructure” of the tech companies and dismantling of the large monopoly businesses in China, said Jon Withaar, head of Asia special situations at Pictet Asset Management.
Each business group which includes; Cloud Intelligence Group, Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, Local Services Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics, Global Digital Commerce Group, and Digital Media and Entertainment Group, will be managed by its CEO and board of directors.
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Since 2020, when Jack Ma criticized China’s banking regulators, he has maintained a quiet profile. In September 2019, he resigned from his position as chairman of Alibaba.
Beijing has hinted that its assault on the internet sector may be drawing to an end in recent months. The ruling Communist Party depends on the private sector to increase jobs and growth as the economy struggles to pick up steam in the wake of years of Covid lockdowns and a real estate meltdown.
Since assuming office, the new premier, Li Qiang, has taken a more accommodative stance toward businesses in what many perceive as an effort to support China’s economic recovery. Investors have returned in a hurry.
Meanwhile, as part of a bigger anti-monopoly campaign, China fined tech giant Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings in 2021 for failing to disclose 43 acquisitions during the previous eight years.
China technology analyst Rui Ma told the BBC that investors saw value in the restructuring because Alibaba’s business units will be able to grow at their own pace.
She added that each unit will also be more streamlined and “less likely to be subject to antitrust violations”.