Tech Stock Rally on Alibaba Results May Be Short Lived, as Pandemic Impact on Industry, Consumer Spending Come Into Focus

Alibaba Group Holding’s better-than-expected results may offer only a temporary boost to Chinese technology stocks, as fallout from pandemic lockdowns depresses consumer spending and causes analysts to cut earnings forecasts by as much as 11 per cent.

Alibaba’s shares surged 12 per cent in Hong Kong on Friday after the release of its quarterly report, as the Hang Seng Tech Index rose nearly 4 per cent.

However, major brokerages China International Capital Corp (CICC) and Citic Securities cut earnings projections for the e-commerce giant. They cited the Covid-19 outbreaks that have ravaged about 40 cities in China this year, disrupting supply chains and prompting consumers to tighten their purse strings.

A weak result from Baidu has bolstered the argument. The nation’s biggest search-engine saw its advertising revenue drop 4 per cent from a year earlier in the first quarter, reflecting a tough macroeconomic environment.

The latest brokerage calls reinforce the view that the worst for China’s tech juggernauts is yet to come, as the pandemic takes over from the regulatory crackdown as the factor holding sway over the sector. Alibaba, Tencent soar in Hong Kong as report cards ease earnings concerns

A flurry of high-level government meetings over the last month signal an end to the year-long regulatory storm that wiped out more than US$1 trillion in market cap. Top policymakers have made it clear they want tech platforms to play a bigger role in reviving growth, as the outlines of a consumer-spending slowdown and a “big shock” to industrial profits become clear following lockdowns that started in April.

“Consumer spending and the development of the pandemic are the key to the tech stocks now,” said Dai Ming, a fund manager at Huichen Asset Management in Shanghai. “People won’t spend even online now, with the courier service devastated by the pandemic. The regulatory factor is less of a major concern now.”

CICC reduced Alibaba’s earnings forecast for the financial year by 7 per cent to 131.8 billion yuan (US$19.6 billion) and that for the following year by 1 per cent to 169.1 billion yuan. The investment firm also slashed the price target of Alibaba’s Hong Kong-traded shares by 4 per cent to HK$137, representing 13 times estimated earnings, amid a compressing valuation within the tech sector.

Citic Securities, China’s biggest publicly traded brokerage, also slashed Alibaba’s profit forecast, by 11 per cent to 124.9 billion yuan for this year and by 12 per cent to 147.7 billion yuan for next year. The share-price estimate is set at HK$160.

Alibaba’s customer management revenue (CMR), its biggest source of revenue, will probably decrease by more than 10 per cent for the quarter ended in June as a result of dwindling demand for online shopping and supply-chain disruptions, the brokerage said in a report on Friday.

“Looking to the whole year, investors still need to wait until the recovery in the macroeconomy for the improvement in Alibaba’s earnings,” Citic analysts led by Xu Yingbo wrote in the report. “We estimate that earnings will begin to pick up after the third or the fourth quarter.”

Beijing has reaffirmed its adherence to the zero-Covid policy, which JPMorgan has said the government sees as necessary because of a low vaccination rate among China’s elderly and a fragile healthcare system. The US bank, as well as Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee, predict a contraction in China’s growth in the second quarter. Premiere Li Keqiang highlighted the gravity of the situation for the nation’s economy at a meeting this week, saying that it was even worse in some aspects than the aftermath of the Wuhan Covid-19 outbreak in 2020.

Alibaba, the owner of the Post, jumped 12 per cent to HK$90.85 on Friday in Hong Kong. The rally has pared the stock’s loss to 23 per cent this year after a 49 per cent slump in 2021. Revenue for the March quarter rose 9 per cent from a year ago, beating estimates, but the company swung to a net loss in the span on increased investments in new businesses, according to results released on Thursday.

Alibaba’s future earnings may risk trailing the estimate, “given the uncertainty of putting the pandemic under control,” said Tang Jiarui, an analyst at Everbright Securities in Shanghai. “The logistics snarls have reduced consumers’ willingness to spend.”

By: Zhang Shidong

Source: Tech-stock rally on Alibaba results may be short-lived

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U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Lose $80 Billion In Value As Didi Delisting Crashes Prices

Jack Ma, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, speaks in Paris. After a year of massive losses ... [+] AFP via Getty Images

Shares of Chinese tech giants trading in the United States posted stunning losses Friday amid intensifying concerns over U.S. regulatory efforts to ramp up financial disclosures for foreign entities after ride-hailer Didi Global’s catastrophic trading debut this year, yielding one-day losses of more than $80 billion for the ten largest U.S.-listed Chinese stocks.

Heading up the Friday plunge, Didi shares had plummeted 18% by 12:30 p.m. EST, wiping out $7 billion in market value after the embattled Beijing-based firm announced it would begin removing its shares from the New York Stock Exchange and instead list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Though widely expected, the delisting “represents the beginning of the unwinding of a large part of U.S.-China business relations,” David Trainer, the CEO of investment research firm New Constructs, said in emailed comments, calling China’s relaxed financial disclosure requirements irreconcilable with U.S. laws.

Fueling concerns over additional delistings, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday proceeded with plans that could eventually force many Chinese stocks off U.S. exchanges by subjecting foreign entities to heightened disclosure requirements, including U.S. government financial audits.

Shares of e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba, the largest Chinese company listed in the U.S., were among the hardest hit, down 8% on the New York Stock Exchange to a nearly five-year low of $112, deflating its market capitalization to $305 billion.

Fellow online retailers and Pinduoduo, the second- and fourth-largest firms, posted similarly staggering losses, falling 9% apiece to shed about $12 billion and $6 billion in market value, respectively.

The selloff hit a wide array of sectors: Online gaming company NetEase, electric carmaker NIO and internet firm Baidu plunged 6%, 15% and 8%, respectively.

All told, the ten largest Chinese companies trading in the United States have lost about $83 billion in market value on Friday—nearly 10% of their $850 billion in combined worth.

Chinese stocks trading in the United States have lost massive amounts of value since Beijing officials issued a series of sweeping private sector regulations this summer—in one instance banning the for-profit education business virtually overnight. “Yes, there’s a huge market and lots of growth potential, but obviously there are regulatory risks that seem to be growing larger with every passing month,” Tom Essaye, author of the Sevens Report, wrote in a recent note.

Epitomizing the effect on stocks, Didi shares have tanked 53% since they started trading in June, and Alibaba, once worth more than $858 billion, has crashed about 50% this year.

The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China index, which tracks Chinese businesses trading in the United States, is down 8% Friday and 42% this year. The index is at its lowest point since March 2020.

I’m a senior reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism

Source: U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Lose $80 Billion In Value As Didi Delisting Crashes Prices


More Contents:

Chinese Stocks in US Extend Rally Nearly Erasing Record Selloff BNN Bloomberg

Chinese Stocks Plummet after Xi’s Reelection Hudson Institute

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Alibaba Stock Keeps Falling, Sending Jack Ma’s Net Worth Down $30 Billion In A Year

Shares of tech giant Alibaba continued to fall on Friday, adding to the stock’s massive selloff after the company said earlier this week that it expects weaker revenue growth amid China’s slowing economy and Beijing’s ongoing regulatory crackdown.

Key Facts

The tech and e-commerce giant reported disappointing quarterly earnings late on Wednesday and slashed its revenue forecasts for the year ahead.

Alibaba shares plunged over 11% on Thursday following the report—one of the stock’s largest single-day declines on record—and is down more than 2% so far on Friday.

The stock’s downward trajectory has shaved billions off of the net worth of Alibaba founder and chairman, Jack Ma, who was once China’s richest person.

Ma’s fortune fell by another $350 million on Friday, bringing his net worth to $38.6 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates.

The billionaire’s wealth is down dramatically from its peak: Ma was worth as much as $66.6 billion when Alibaba’s stock price hit a record high of around $317 per share on October 27, 2020.

It has been a difficult year for the Chinese billionaire, who is also the cofounder of fintech giant Ant Group: Ma has largely kept a low public profile since Beijing’s regulatory crackdown heated up last year.

Key Background:

Since last year, the Chinese government has ramped up its regulatory scrutiny of major tech giants in the country—including Alibaba and its peers Tencent, Baidu and TikTok owner ByteDance, accusing them of anticompetitive practices and gathering large amounts of private user data. Billionaire Jack Ma briefly disappeared from public view after Chinese regulators shut down his fintech company Ant Group’s planned $35 billion IPO in November 2020.

Government regulators then fined Alibaba $2.8 billion in April 2021—the highest-ever antitrust penalty imposed in China—for acting like a monopoly. Shares of Alibaba are down nearly 40% so far this year.

What To Watch For:

In its earnings release, the tech giant warned of a “regulatory environment that [could] affect Alibaba’s business operations” as well as “privacy and data protection regulations and concerns.”

Crucial Quote:

Chinese president Xi Jinping “has not backed down” when it comes to the regulatory crackdown, John Freeman, vice president of equity research at CFRA, recently told Yahoo Finance. “There’s actually a delisting risk” when it comes to Alibaba shares, he warns.

Further Reading:

Alibaba Founder Jack Ma Reportedly Resurfaces In Hong Kong (Forbes)

Here’s Why Investors Should Take Another Look At China, According To This Asset Manager (Forbes)

Here’s What Investors Are Most Worried About—Including Meme Stocks And China Real Estate—According To Fed Report (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York-based reporter covering billionaires and their wealth for Forbes. Previously, I worked on the breaking news team at Forbes covering money and markets.

Source: Alibaba Stock Keeps Falling, Sending Jack Ma’s Net Worth Down $30 Billion In A Year


More Contents:


China Leaps Ahead in Effort to Rein In Algorithms

Beijing is building a system to ensure that the automated processes of Internet platforms are fair, transparent and in line with the ideology of the Communist Party

Regulators called for the algorithms to be fair and transparent, following the ideology of the Communist Party of China.

The campaign puts China one step ahead in policing tech forums, as governments around the world grapple with how to respond to automated technologies that reshape business, social interactions and politics.

Earlier this year, the European Union proposed restricting certain uses of artificial intelligence to reduce potential harm. In the US, lawmakers are investigating Facebook’s influence Inc. NS

Algorithm-driven content on users, after Businesshala reported that the company’s Instagram app has a negative impact on children’s mental health.

China has targeted algorithms more aggressively under the close watch of its domestic tech sector. Draft guidelines released this summer would require algorithms to protect the rights of workers and consumers, and restrict the use of algorithms to manipulate user accounts, online traffic or search results.

“We don’t necessarily see China as a regulatory innovator, but in this case they are,” said Rogier Creamers, an assistant professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, which focuses on Chinese technical policy.

Under a three-year plan released last week, Chinese regulators outlined steps to monitor algorithms, including a registration process and the establishment of a technical team to evaluate the mechanisms and risks of an algorithm.

The latest campaign builds on a broad regulatory push in China’s tech sector that has prompted investigations into some of the country’s biggest companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. Ltd.

The push is partly directed at business practices that regulators deem harmful so workers or consumers.

Companies such as Meituan and Didi have faced heat over the working conditions of drivers, as well as calls for creating algorithms that schedule workers’ tasks and pay more transparently. Officials have also warned tech companies this year against exploiting personal data and using algorithms to charge discriminatory prices from customers.

China’s Cyberspace Administration, Alibaba and Didi did not respond to requests for comment. China is currently celebrating its National Day holiday.

Meituan declined to comment. The company previously published an explanation of its delivery algorithm and said it is making changes to give delivery drivers more flexibility.

Experts said it would be a challenge for regulators to tighten controls on algorithms without hindering development or innovation in one of China’s most successful sectors. Internet companies rely on complex mathematical instructions for tasks ranging from analysis of social-media behavior to mapping optimal distribution routes.

While algorithms have contributed to technological advancement and societal development, the CAC said in last week’s announcement, they have also brought “challenges to ideological security, a fair and equal society, and the protection of the legal rights of Internet users.”

Beijing-based partner at law firm Bird & Bird, James Gong, said tighter regulatory oversight of algorithms is likely to impact China’s internet industry.

Mr. Gong said of the country’s Internet companies, “Almost all of them use algorithms and automated decision-making and profiling to ensure that their marketing is more accurate and to improve business efficiency and increase profits.” Is.”

A senior manager at ByteDance Ltd said the requirement to register the algorithm would only add a step, restricting the learning of user behavior and recommendation services, as well as requiring disclosure of proprietary technology that could hurt the company’s business. .

ByteDance, which owns social-media sensation TikTok and its Chinese sister app Douyin, is known for its powerful algorithms that drive user recommendations and content.

“The regulatory environment is clear, and we need to start thinking about how to adjust accordingly,” the ByteDance manager said. He said that since most of the new regulation is still under debate, it is difficult to say what the immediate commercial impact will be.

ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment.

Sam Sachs, senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, said China’s approach could appeal to other countries that want a thriving digital economy while maintaining a firm grip on political and social discourse. However, she said there is still a lot of uncertainty over the details and enforcement of these new rules.

“I think they understand that this is an impossible task that they have set for themselves,” Ms Sachs said. “I would also say that three years can be ambitious.”

The CAC guidelines also state that algorithms used by Chinese companies must uphold core socialist values ​​and promote “positive energy” in content provided to users.

China is taking more control of online content and communities. In recent months, it has severely restricted online-videogame time for players under the age of 18, banned pop-idol rankings and criticized online male personalities for being too sacrilegious. are visible.

“It’s almost taking online censorship up a notch,” Ms Sachs said. “It is saying that you have an obligation to ensure that any content that is algorithmically driven that you feed into the online space is to shape socialist values.”

By: Stephanie Yang, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Source: China Leaps Ahead in Effort to Rein In Algorithms


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U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Have Lost Another $150 Billion In Market Value This Week As Beijing Targets ‘Excessive’ Wealth

Shares of Chinese tech giants trading in the United States struggled to pare losses Friday amid intensifying concerns over China’s efforts to impose sweeping new regulations on its publicly traded companies over the next several years, yielding market value losses of more than $150 billion for the 10 largest U.S.-listed Chinese stocks this week alone.

Key Facts

As of 2:45 p.m. EDT, shares of e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba, the largest Chinese company listed in the U.S., were among the hardest hit, down more than 15% on the New York Stock Exchange over the past week to $157, deflating its market capitalization to $424 billion.

Fellow online retailers and Pinduoduo, posted similarly staggering losses, wiping out about $20 billion and $10 billion in market value this week, respectively, despite ticking up about 2% Friday.

“China remains a huge source of global concern,” market analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge Media wrote in a Friday email, pointing to the nation’s strengthening regulatory campaign against corporations and actions that last month included demanding online education companies end their for-profit business models.

This week, shares of Chinese stocks have crashed steadily since Tuesday, when President Xi Jinping vowed to redistribute wealth in the nation by regulating “excessively high incomes”—spurring a sell-off that crushed shares of European luxury companies that do big business in China, like LVMH and Gucci-parent Kering.

U.S.-listed shares of online-gaming company NetEase, electric carmaker NIO and Internet firm Baidu plunged 11%, 10% and 10%, respectively, this week.

All told, the 10 largest Chinese companies trading in the United States have lost about $153 billion in market value since last week—more than 15% of their combined market value of roughly $940 billion.

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Key Background

In a matter of weeks, China has introduced harsh regulations targeting wide swaths of its economy and showing investors how risky investing in its market can be, Tom Essaye, author of the Sevens Report, wrote in a recent note. “Yes, there’s a huge market and lots of growth potential, but obviously there are regulatory risks that seem to be growing larger with every passing month,” said Essaye.

Last week, officials released a sweeping five-year blueprint for the crackdown, covering virtually every sector in its market. Then on Wednesday, China’s market regulators published a long list of draft rules targeting tech companies, barring them from using data to influence consumer choices and “traffic hijacking activities,” among other things.

Crucial Quote

“This is all a stark reminder that the current regulatory crackdown from Beijing is not going to let up,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a Thursday note, forecasting U.S. tech stocks, which are outperforming the broader market Friday, should benefit from the tech-focused crackdown in China over the next year. “The fear with more regulation in China around the corner is a major worry that is hard for investors to digest, and it will ultimately cause more of a rotation from the China tech sector to U.S. tech.”

Surprising Fact

The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China index, which tracks Chinese businesses trading in the United States, is down 9% this week and has crashed 51% from a February all-time high.

Further Reading

U.S., European Investment Banks May Have Lost Some $12 Billion As Chinese Education Firms Crashed (Forbes)

China’s Internet Tycoons Suffer $13.6 Billion Wealth Drop As Regulatory Crackdown Triggers Market Sell-Off (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism

Source: U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks Have Lost Another $150 Billion In Market Value This Week As Beijing Targets ‘Excessive’ Wealth


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