China Stocks Drop Again As Regulatory Crackdown Continues

By BRIAN DEAGON

China stocks fell again Monday, with Alibaba, Tencent Holdings and JD.com among the group, as a regulatory crackdown that initially began in November has intensified.

China stocks have been under heavy pressure, due to an ongoing government crackdown focused on antitrust issues and other forms of unfair competition. Many China internet stocks have seen their valuations cut in half.

The latest hammer strike came from reports over the weekend that China ordered the largest internet companies to stop blocking links from rivals on their apps. The move is designed to boost competition in a sector dominated by a handful of giants, especially Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

Those three and others were asked to speak with Chinese officials about the blocking of internet links, according to reports. Blocking links diminishes competition and provides fewer choices to consumers, officials said.

In addition, a report by the Financial Times said that Ant Group would need to separate their loan business from their mobile payment business, quoting "unnamed sources"

Across-The-Board Drop In China Stocks

China officials have also targeted online gaming companies such as NetEase, Tencent and Bilibili. Previously, China officials criticized online gaming as addictive to minors, calling it "spiritual opium." The new measures aim to curb what authorities describe as video game addiction, which they blame for societal ills.

On Monday, Bilibili stock dropped 3.5% to close at 80.53 on the stock market today. Vipshop Holdings dropped 3.5% to 14.11. Alibaba edged down 1.6%to 165.41. JD stock edged down 0.6% to 80.17. Tencent lost 1.5% to 61.43. Pinduoduo dipped 0.4% to 104.16.

China's regulatory crush has hammered China stocks across the board, with market valuations halved in many cases.

Alibaba is down roughly 48% from its high of 349.32 in October. Tencent has sunk 38% since its February peak of 99.40. JD stock dropped 25% from its high of 108.29 in February. Vipshop plunged 69% in that time frame, while NetEase is down 34% and Pinduoduo 51%.

Please follow Brian Deagon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more on tech stocks, analysis and financial markets.


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