“Alibaba would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service, and the critical oversight, tolerance and support from all of our constituencies have been crucial to our development. For this, we are full of gratitude and respect,” it added. “It is not lost on us that today’s society has new expectations for platform companies, as we must assume more responsibilities as part of the nation’s economic and social development.”
Beijing has long been concerned that the influence tech firms have over the financial sector makes that industry vulnerable — Ant, for example, now commands more than half of the mobile payments market in China — and officials have been looking for ways to rein them in.
Other tech companies could be next in the firing line.
“Tencent has had meetings with regulators on a regular basis, and this was a regular meeting,” it said. “We discussed a broad range of topics, mainly focused on fostering innovation and creating a healthy environment for industry evolution. Tencent has always and will continue to conduct our operations in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.”
— Laura He and Michelle Toh contributed reporting.