Crackdown hits Alibaba to sell 5% stake in Chinese broadcaster

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – An investment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, targeted by regulatory crackdown, will divest its entire 5.01% stake in broadcaster Mango Excellent Media Co Ltd, announced the media company.

The sale comes less than a year after the investment in December last year, as Chinese authorities mount an antitrust crackdown on big tech companies.

One of the main targets was Alibaba, which was fined $ 2.75 billion for anti-competitive practices.

In Thursday’s stock exchange filing, the media company said Alibaba’s investment arm will seek a waiver of a one-year lock-up it committed to at the time of its investment.

Since then, shares of Mango Excellent Media have fallen by around 40%. The company, based in Hunan Province, western China, produces Internet and television content in addition to managing a sales division.

Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment.

Alibaba’s share price has fallen by almost half since last October, when authorities abruptly halted plans to IPO its financial subsidiary, Ant Group.

Mango Excellent Media is one of several media-related investments funded by Alibaba, which is a major shareholder in Weibo Corp, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter on social media.

He also wholly owns the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper.

In July, Reuters reported that Weibo was in talks to go private with the help of a Shanghai-based state-owned company, with the aim of helping Alibaba divest itself. After the report, the president of the company, Charles Chao, said he had not had such discussions.

In addition to Weibo, Alibaba has stakes in a few small Chinese online media and has its own filming division, Alibaba Pictures.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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