Concerns over a new wave of regulatory crackdowns across China’s tech sector have taken over investor sentiment. Bloomberg had reported that Chinese authorities were said to have told state-owned firms and banks to begin a fresh round of checks on Alibaba Group’s fintech business arm, Ant Group. Alibaba has been under scrutiny since 2021 with the company paying $2.8bn in fines for monopolistic practices. Besides, the Chinese tech sector has seen a crackdown across antitrust issues, data security overhauls etc. ever since Ant Group’s stalled IPO in November 2020. Alibaba is due to report earnings on Thursday, February 24 with analysts expecting a 60% quarterly drop in profits. Its shares fell 5%. Food delivery company Meituan’s shares fell over 5% after Beijing on Friday ordered it to cut fees. Tencent was somewhat spared after denying that it was facing a new scrutiny of its core businesses. The HSI index was down 2.7% and Shanghai Composite was down 1%.

Alibaba’s dollar bonds were lower with its 3.25% 2061s down 2.3 points to 80.4, yielding 4.3%. Tencent’s 3.24% 2050s were down 1.9 points to 83.7, yielding 4.23%.

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