BABA - Alibaba Group Holding Limited

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
173.52
+4.39 (+2.60%)
At close: 4:03PM EDT

173.35 -0.17 (-0.10%)
After hours: 7:09PM EDT

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close169.13
Open172.64
Bid173.35 x 900
Ask173.51 x 900
Day's Range170.87 - 173.91
52 Week Range129.77 - 195.72
Volume8,820,533
Avg. Volume14,819,457
Market Cap432.051B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.89
PE Ratio (TTM)49.62
EPS (TTM)3.50
Earnings DateNov. 1, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est222.64
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • GlobeNewswire

    TuanChe Limited Announces Strategic Partnership with Tmall Auto

    TuanChe Limited ("TuanChe" or the “Company”) (TC), a leading omni-channel automotive marketplace in China, today announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with Tmall Auto, the automotive arm of Alibaba Group’s (BABA) Tmall, China's largest e-commerce platform for brands and retailers. This partnership will further enable both TuanChe and Tmall Auto to collaborate and explore additional growth opportunities along China’s automotive transaction value chain.

  • Business Wire

    Alibaba Kicks Off 2019 11.11 Global Shopping Festival

    Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) today kicked off its 2019 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, taking the annual celebration into its second decade with a focus on “new consumption,” “new business” and actively contributing to a greener society. “Our goal is to stimulate consumption demand and support lifestyle upgrade in China through new brands and products.

  • Business Wire

    Alibaba Group Will Announce September Quarter 2019 Results on November 1, 2019

    Alibaba Group Holding Limited today announced that it will report its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 before the U.S. market opens on Friday, November 1, 2019, and will hold a conference call to discuss the financial results at 7:30 a.m.

  • China Calls for Tech Collaboration While Criticizing U.S. Action
    Bloomberg

    China Calls for Tech Collaboration While Criticizing U.S. Action

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. A senior Chinese official called for governments around the world to work more closely together to regulate emerging technologies, while taking a veiled swipe at the U.S. for undermining collaboration.“The foundation for an open and shared-by-all internet is unstable,” Huang Kunming, a member of the Politburo, which is comprised of China’s 25 most-senior officials, said at a technology forum on Sunday. “Some countries restrain and suppress companies from other countries using cyber security as an excuse. Such moves cast uncertainty and even antagonism over cyberspace,” he said, without naming the U.S.Technology has come increasingly to the fore of a confrontation between the U.S. and China that began with trade and has since spread to 5G mobile networks and artificial intelligence. Washington has lobbied countries to not use gear from Huawei Technologies Co. in their 5G plans, arguing it could facilitate spying by Beijing, and the U.S. blacklisted some of China’s leading AI companies, citing their links to the detention of ethnic minorities.“We need to respect each country’s approach to Internet development, governance, policy making and their rights to participate in international governance based on mutual trust,” said Huang, who’s also head of the Communist Party’s publicity department. “We need to pay attention to each others’ interests and concerns, effectively deal with disagreements and avoid strategic misjudgment. “Huang spoke at the World Internet Conference held in the small town of Wuzhen in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chief Executive Daniel Zhang, Baidu Inc. Chief Executive Robin Li and Western Digital Corp. Chief Executive Steve Milligan were among executives in attendance.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: John Liu in Beijing at jliu42@bloomberg.net;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, John LiuFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alibaba Options Traders Betting on a Bullish Jump
    Market Realist

    Alibaba Options Traders Betting on a Bullish Jump

    In the October 18 trading session, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) stock is trading at $170.14, down 3.79% from the previous session.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JD.com, Alibaba, Baidu and SINA
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JD.com, Alibaba, Baidu and SINA

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JD.com, Alibaba, Baidu and SINA

  • Amazon AWS Selected by Old Mutual, Expands Cloud Clientele
    Zacks

    Amazon AWS Selected by Old Mutual, Expands Cloud Clientele

    Old Mutual selects Amazon's (AMZN) AWS as the preferred cloud provider, which highlights the reliability of the company's cloud computing services.

  • When doing business in China, you play by China's rules, some execs say about NBA
    Yahoo Finance

    When doing business in China, you play by China's rules, some execs say about NBA

    Some business leader say that if you choose to do business in China, you have to play by China’s rules—or expect consequences when you don't.

  • Deal Or No Deal, Investing Case for China Looks Good
    Zacks

    Deal Or No Deal, Investing Case for China Looks Good

    From e-commerce giant to Internet to online media company, here's how you should invest in China stocks amid the protracted trade war.

  • Alibaba (BABA) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Alibaba (BABA) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Alibaba (BABA) closed at $177.10, marking a +1.03% move from the previous day.

  • MercadoLibre Plans to Double Down on Its Brazilian Bet Next Year
    Bloomberg

    MercadoLibre Plans to Double Down on Its Brazilian Bet Next Year

    (Bloomberg) -- MercadoLibre Inc. will “for sure” invest more than 3 billion reais ($718 million) in Brazil next year with a focus on financial services and logistics, Chief Operating Officer Stelleo Tolda said.MercadoLibre, the e-commerce pioneer in Latin America now worth $28 billion, plans to invest more in its financial services and payments unit while opening more distribution centers and seeking partnerships to cut delivery time further, Tolda said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Sao Paulo office.The early guidance on outlays for next year follows investments of 2 billion reais in Brazil last year and 3 billion reais this year. As competition heats up from the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and local retailers including Magazine Luiza SA and B2W Cia Digital, MercadoLibre is defending its market share of about 33% and looking to get customers to lean heavier on its services for day-to-day shopping and payment solutions, Tolda said.“We strongly believe in the growth potential of this business, so it’s too early to focus only on profitability,” said Tolda, who met MercadoLibre’s founder Marcos Galperin at Stanford University in the late 90‘s and has been leading the Brazil business since the start, 20 years ago.MercadoLibre, based in Buenos Aires but with operations in 18 countries and shares trading in New York, is offering same-day delivery in Sao Paulo and looking to expand its next-day delivery to at least 16 cities in 2020.The firm currently operates two distribution centers near Sao Paulo and will open facilities in other regions, to speed up its delivery in a country larger than the continental U.S.Brazilian e-commerce has more than doubled to 68.8 billion reais between 2013 and 2018 and should almost double again through 2023, according to market researcher Euromonitor International.The newest focus for the company is on the fast-moving train of fintech services courting large parts of the population without bank accounts.MercadoPago, the payments platform, has been leading growth at the company. The number of transactions more than doubled year-on-year in the second quarter with the value surging 47% to $6.5 billion. That compares to $3.4 billion in gross merchandise value from the marketplace.“We see opportunities not only in payments, but also in all financial services, including credit, investments and eventually insurance,” Tolda said. “MercadoPago is also the way through which we believe we’ll have higher recurrence in people’s lives.”MercadoLibre needs to invest in marketing for the MercadoPago brand and search out companies to provide payment solutions and individual customers to use the virtual wallet. Offering payment with cards as well as with QR codes, MercadoPago has already cut deals with a wide variety of brick-and-mortar companies in Brazil such as gas stations, drugstores and the Sao Paulo subway.MercadoLibre doesn’t plan to spin off the financial products unit, which it sees as a way to increase interactivity with customers and attract shoppers into its e-commerce platform, Tolda said. Currently, the average Brazilian e-commerce consumer buys an item per month and MercadoLibre wants to intensify the frequency of purchases to at least once a week, Tolda said.The company recently opened new categories of no-gender fashion and sustainable products in its e-commerce platform to attract younger consumers. It also plans to expand next-day delivery to 16 larger cities, from eight currently, after closing a deal with the cargo unit of airline Azul SA that could help reduce its dependence on the country’s post offices.MercadoLibre has surged 93% year-to-date to $566 on the Nasdaq. That compares to 18% for Amazon, 28% for Alibaba Group Holding and 39% for EBay Inc.After raising $1.9 billion earlier this year, including a big chunk of it from PayPal Holdings Inc., MercadoLibre is focusing on investment in its core businesses rather than any bold new acquisitions, according to Tolda. Talks are ongoing with PayPal on how to collaborate in several areas despite being competitors.“Theirs is a traditional online payment model, and we’re seeing even greater potential offline than online,” with MercadoPago, Tolda said. “It’s an interesting path, this idea of ‘frenemy,’ that exists in the technology market.”To contact the reporters on this story: Fabiola Moura in Sao Paulo at fdemoura@bloomberg.net;Vinícius Andrade in São Paulo at vandrade3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Cancel at dcancel@bloomberg.net, ;Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Richard RichtmyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ant Financial Seeks Loan Up to $3.5 Billion at Lower Rate
    Bloomberg

    Ant Financial Seeks Loan Up to $3.5 Billion at Lower Rate

    (Bloomberg) -- Ant Financial Services Group is seeking a syndicated loan of up to $3.5 billion at a lower rate, joining other Chinese technology giants in their bid to slash debt costs.The company is in talks with lenders for a $2.5 billion financing that comes with a $1 billion greenshoe option, according to people familiar with the matter. The price talk for the three-year loan margin is less than 100 basis points over Libor, said the people, who are not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The company didn’t immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial last came to the syndicated loan market in 2017, raising a $3.5 billion three-year facility that pays a margin of 135 basis points over Libor, according to Bloomberg data. The latest funding plan comes amid a refinancing spree for Asian tech firms as they take advantage of abundant liquidity from lenders in the wake of fewer loan deals in the region.Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. is in talks for a $1 billion refinancing at its lowest rate after Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. clinched its biggest and cheapest dollar-based facility in August. Ant Financial’s affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. completed an amendment and extension of its $4 billion loan in May.Ant’s new loan, if completed, will be used for general corporate purposes, the people said. The company is formally known as Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co.\--With assistance from Apple Lam and Carol Zhong.To contact the reporters on this story: Annie Lee in Hong Kong at olee42@bloomberg.net;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Neha D'silva at ndsilva1@bloomberg.net, Chan Tien HinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Cisco Closes CloudCherry Buyout, Boosts Customer Experience
    Zacks

    Cisco Closes CloudCherry Buyout, Boosts Customer Experience

    Cisco Systems (CSCO) is benefiting from its expanding footprint in the rapidly growing security market. Further, partnerships and accretive acquisitions will boost the company's revenue base.

  • Paytm Nears SoftBank, Ant Fundraising at a $16 Billion Valuation
    Bloomberg

    Paytm Nears SoftBank, Ant Fundraising at a $16 Billion Valuation

    (Bloomberg) -- Paytm is close to scoring $2 billion of new financing from investors including Jack Ma’s Ant Financial and SoftBank Group Corp., a person familiar with the matter said, describing a mega-deal that will raise the temperature in India’s increasingly heated financial payments arena.Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management is also in discussions to join a funding round that values the country’s top online financial services firm at $16 billion, the person said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal. The funding will be split evenly between equity and debt and is aimed at helping Paytm fend off an influx of rivals, the person said. Talks are in their final stages but the terms could still change, the person added.If a deal is finalized, Paytm could outstrip fellow high-profile Asian startups such as Grab and Gojek in valuation. Billionaire Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is raising capital to protect the startup’s share of a potentially $1 trillion Indian payments market from newer entrants Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart’s PhonePe. Over the past year, a string of new apps have made payments increasingly easy, bringing discounts and cash bonuses to young, smartphone-savvy users.Paytm remains the leader for now. The firm has in a decade become India’s biggest digital payments brand, attracting big names in investing from Alibaba co-founder Ma and SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett. Sharma got a huge boost in 2016 after India’s government moved to eliminate most of the nation’s paper money in circulation in a bid to curb corruption. His startup, a pioneer in the country’s nascent field, saw tens of millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of businesses sign up for digital services in a matter of months.“India is a large market,” said Kunal Pande, head of financial services risk consulting at KPMG. “Digital payments adoption is growing quickly, yet there is room for massive growth as users get comfortable transacting digitally. The large business opportunity makes it attractive for both domestic startups and large global players.”Read more: Facebook and Google Chase a New $1 Trillion Payments MarketPaytm, which is also backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., declined to comment in response to emailed questions. Ant had no immediate comment when contacted, while Discovery Capital and SoftBank declined to comment.Sharma is now extending his online empire into e-commerce and banking, even as others encroach on his turf. The Indian payments market remains a chaotic field where the rules are hazy on what players can offer, yet its promise has lured a string of competitors including Indian banks, its postal service and its richest man, Mukesh Ambani.Credit Suisse Group AG now estimates that the Indian digital payments market will touch $1 trillion by 2023 from about $200 billion currently. It’s a market with huge potential: Cash still accounts for 70% of all Indian transactions by value, according to Credit Suisse, and neighboring China is far more advanced with a mobile payments market worth more than $5 trillion.Ant Financial, China’s largest provider of internet financial services and one of Paytm’s earliest backers, has said it will continue investing in mobile-payment providers around the world to boost offshore revenue and buttress itself against rising competition and tighter regulation at home.It’s not clear how much SoftBank would contribute, but the Japanese company is going through a rocky stretch. SoftBank’s shares are down about 30% from their peak this year as investors, unnerved by the WeWork turmoil and Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing debut, grow skittish about startup valuations.\--With assistance from Lulu Yilun Chen, Hema Parmar and Vincent Bielski.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at aghosh@bloomberg.net, ;Sarah Wells at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank-Backed Tokopedia in Talks for Pre-IPO Funding Round
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank-Backed Tokopedia in Talks for Pre-IPO Funding Round

    (Bloomberg) -- PT Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has begun discussions with potential investors for what’s likely to be its final private funding round before a dual stock market listing.Indonesia’s largest online mall is considering listing shares at home as well as in another as-yet-undecided location, Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya told Bloomberg News. But he wouldn’t specify a timetable for an initial public offering, citing uncertain market conditions in a trade war.Tokopedia, the country’s most valuable startup after ride-hailing giant Gojek, is focused on its home market for now but an overseas listing should raise its profile while attracting new investors. Tanuwijaya said the startup he co-founded 10 years ago is aiming to break even next year. Its gross merchandise value should triple to as much as 222 trillion rupiah ($16 billion) in 2019, he said. Revenue is growing faster than GMV, while its community of sellers rose to 6.4 million from about 5 million last year, he added.“Dual-listing is most likely to be our approach” because the Indonesia-focused e-commerce site wants its consumers and sellers to also become shareholders, the 37-year-old founder said in an interview in Jakarta. “We are now in the process of picking the right partners who believe in our vision and mission.”SoftBank Vision Fund, Alibaba Lead $1.1 Billion Tokopedia RoundTokopedia is gunning for a listing at a time many of its peers around the world are tapping the brakes. Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing debut and the chaos surrounding WeWork’s botched IPO have put startups under pressure to prove their business model can lead to revenue and profit growth. The co-founders of Grab, Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup and another of SoftBank’s portfolio companies, have said they’re not planning an IPO any time soon.With a looming risk of a global recession, it’s crucial for large platforms like Tokopedia to establish a sustainable business by generating profits, said Chatib Basri, a former finance minister and senior lecturer at the University of Indonesia. “When there is a disruption to a company as big as Tokopedia, which has 90 million monthly active users, it could result in a systemic effect,” he said.Tokopedia’s advantage is its presence in an Indonesian e-commerce market projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings Pte and Bain & Co. Unlike peers Alibaba’s Lazada and Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed Shopee, which operate across Southeast Asia, Tokopedia has chosen to expand deeper into rural areas of Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands where online shopping is still relatively under-developed.“Indonesia’s e-commerce penetration is still 4% to 5%, so the room for growth is still big,” Tanuwijaya said.\--With assistance from Viriya Singgih.To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at yoolim@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Large-Cap Tech Stocks to Buy in Q3 Earnings Season Amid Trade War Optimism
    Zacks

    3 Large-Cap Tech Stocks to Buy in Q3 Earnings Season Amid Trade War Optimism

    Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into some of the latest U.S.-China trade war updates, including President Trump's optimism. We then look at three large-cap technology stocks to consider buying during Q3 earnings season. - Full-Court Finance

  • GlobeNewswire

    Genius Brands International and Alibaba Partner to Co-Produce the New Animated Children’s Series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Genius Brands International “Genius Brands” (GNUS) announced today it has formed a strategic co-production partnership with Alibaba Group’s (BABA) video streaming platform, Youku, to co-produce the all-new children’s animated series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Genius Brands and Alibaba’s Youku will co-produce 52 x 11 episodes of the comedy, action-adventure series, which will be available to Chinese audiences on Youku.

  • WeWork Said to Weigh Bailout That Hands Control to SoftBank
    Bloomberg

    WeWork Said to Weigh Bailout That Hands Control to SoftBank

    (Bloomberg) -- WeWork is considering a bailout that will hand control of the co-working giant to SoftBank Group Corp., according to a person familiar with the matter, one of two main options to rescue the once high-flying startup.The Japanese investment powerhouse controlled by billionaire Masayoshi Son is convinced it can turn around the cash-strapped American company with the right financial controls in place, the person said, asking not to be identified talking about internal deliberations. WeWork’s board and backers however are also weighing another option: JPMorgan Chase & Co. is leading discussions about a $5 billion debt package, Bloomberg has reported.Either rescue package, or some combination of them, would ease a cash crunch that could leave the office-sharing company short of funds as soon as next month. We Co., the parent of WeWork, had been headed toward one of the year’s most hotly anticipated IPOs before prospective investors balked at certain financial metrics and flawed governance, turning the American giant into a cautionary tale of private market exuberance and costing the company’s top executive his job.The fast-growing, money-losing startup had been counting on a stock listing -- and a $6 billion loan contingent on a successful IPO -- to meet its cash needs.Son, SoftBank Risk Too Much With WeWork Takeover: Tim CulpanRead more: WeWork Is in Talks for $5 Billion Debt Package With LendersThe Wall Street Journal first reported that SoftBank may be discussing a deal to gain control of WeWork. Representatives for the Japanese company weren’t immediately available for comment Monday, a national holiday.SoftBank is already WeWork’s biggest shareholder but the proposed deal would shore up its control of the startup, the person said, declining to elaborate on when a decision on the competing offers might be reached. The Japanese company is in advanced talks to acquire more shares at a significantly lower valuation than the $47 billion WeWork sported in January, two people familiar with those discussions said last week. The New York Times has reported that members of the board would meet Monday to decide on which bailout to select.If the board opts for the SoftBank deal, the Japanese company will be taking on a troubled enterprise at a time it’s struggling to convince the market about its longer-term investment vision. It’s also busy wooing potential investors for a successor to its record-breaking Vision Fund.Read more: SoftBank’s Son Is ‘Embarrassed’ By Record, Impatient to ImproveSon is going through a rocky stretch after repositioning his company from a telecommunications operator into an investment conglomerate, with stakes in scores of startups around the world. He built a personal fortune of about $14 billion with spectacularly successful bets on companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. But SoftBank’s shares are down about 30% from their peak this year as investors, unnerved by WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc.‘s disappointing debut, grow skittish about startup valuations. In an interview with the Nikkei Business magazine, Son said he is unhappy with how far short his accomplishments to date have fallen of his goals.WeWork and Uber may be losing money now, but they will be substantially profitable in 10 years’ time, Son said in that interview. But at a private retreat for portfolio companies late last month, he had a different message: get profitable soon. At the gathering, held at the five-star Langham resort in Pasadena, California, Son also stressed the importance of good governance. Just days later, SoftBank led the ouster of WeWork’s controversial co-founder Adam Neumann.“WeWork has retained a major Wall Street financial institution to arrange a financing,” a representative for the U.S. company said in a statement on Sunday. “Approximately 60 financing sources have signed confidentiality agreements and are meeting with the company’s management and its bankers over the course of this past week and this coming week.”(Updates with details of SoftBank investments from the sixth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net;Michelle F. Davis in New York at mdavis194@bloomberg.net;Davide Scigliuzzo in New York at dscigliuzzo2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, ;Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Virginia Van NattaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • D. E. Shaw & Company: Top Holdings and Fears
    Market Realist

    D. E. Shaw & Company: Top Holdings and Fears

    David Elliot Shaw or D.E. Shaw is a prominent billionaire hedge fund manager and founder of the firm D. E. Shaw & Company.

  • Alibaba, Trade Desk, JD, Roku Lead Tech Gains Today
    Market Realist

    Alibaba, Trade Desk, JD, Roku Lead Tech Gains Today

    Shares of tech companies Alibaba, JD.com, the Trade Desk, and Roku are up today. The broader indexes have also opened higher on trade talk optimism.

  • salesforce to Fuel Esprit's Digital Transformation Journey
    Zacks

    salesforce to Fuel Esprit's Digital Transformation Journey

    salesforce's (CRM) cloud solutions will help Esprit to bring its ecommerce and marketing on a single platform. Moreover, its Success Cloud advisory services will accelerate Esprit's transformation.

  • Tencent Gets ‘Wakeup Call’ From China’s Assertions of Patriotism
    Bloomberg

    Tencent Gets ‘Wakeup Call’ From China’s Assertions of Patriotism

    (Bloomberg) -- Tencent Holdings Ltd. can’t get a break.The National Basketball Association, Activision Blizzard Inc. and now one of its most important portfolio companies, Fortnite proprietor Epic Games Inc., have all sparked political controversy at a time of increasingly assertive Chinese nationalism online.A tweet by an NBA executive expressing support for Hong Kong protesters drew the ire of Beijing, throwing into question the billions Tencent has invested in the U.S. sports league. Then Blizzard, partly owned by Tencent, banned a gamer for endorsing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, triggering a boycott of the company’s games for its apparent kowtowing to China. Most recently, Epic Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney tweeted his disagreement with the Blizzard action, eliciting calls for a boycott of its Fortnite game among Chinese players incensed by the perceived slight.At stake for Tencent are billions of dollars in ad and subscription revenue, along with its entire strategy of becoming a go-to destination for NBA broadcasts. Tencent had almost half a billion basketball aficionados tune in last season. That audience is now in jeopardy after Tencent halted game broadcasts in the wake of the Hong Kong controversy.“It’s a big wakeup call for Chinese tech companies,” said Mark Tanner, founder of Shanghai-based research and marketing company China Skinny.Tencent had just inked a $1.5 billion, five-year deal to stream NBA games online in China. Its suspension of broadcasts followed a similar move by state-backed CCTV.Tencent uses the online streams to sell ads, and the gargantuan scale of the audience drives its marketing business, which is expected to be a key driver of Tencent growth going forward. To spruce up its investment, Tencent has been developing memorabilia, entertainment shows and video games based on the NBA.“Advertising of Tencent sports will likely take a hit. NBA is the star of Tencent sports, so it could cause a contract of Tencent’s advertising growth further,” said Michael Norris, a Shanghai-based research and strategy analyst at consultancy AgencyChina.NBA China Woes Threaten Billions of Dollars, Decades’ WorkA single tweet from the Houston Rockets’ general manager supporting Hong Kong’s protesters was enough to spark a chain reaction, including an abridged history lesson by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Vice-Chairman Joe Tsai, majority owner of the Brooklyn Nets. Alibaba has also yanked Rockets merchandise from its online stores, causing harm to both the NBA and Alibaba’s bottom line.After initially apologizing, the league went on to express its support for staff’s freedom of political expression via a statement by Commissioner Adam Silver. That sparked another round of fury in China, threatening to prolong the clash and the blackout.The Chinese company’s shares have held up well so far, despite warnings from analysts including Citigroup’s Alicia Yap that the streaming freeze will hurt Tencent’s media ad revenue -- particularly if it extends into the regular season.But there’s more trouble ahead: Tencent’s gaming portfolio is spurring controversy too. For years, the WeChat operator took a hands-off approach with the startups and studios across its empire, reaping the benefits of importing Western content and technology for a vast Chinese market. Now the two are increasingly at odds, and Tencent is beginning to realize the downside to its passive approach.Blizzard’s stern reprimand of the pro-Hong Kong player was popular in China, but drew outrage from the U.S. to South Korea. Online, gamers called for a boycott of the company and proudly posted their cancellations.Then Epic CEO Sweeney jumped into the crossfire, explicitly giving Fortnite players the green light to discuss politics. The game maker is 40% owned by Tencent, but Sweeney is the controlling shareholder.His statement earned accolades in the U.S., but was shunned in China. “Tencent why are you not holding your dog on a leash? They are biting you in your face,” one person wrote on Weibo. Tencent spokeswoman Jane Yip didn’t respond to a request for comment.With its investments in Epic and Blizzard, Tencent has its brand on the line -- but little control.“Never have we seen this policing of China companies being extended to subsidiaries,” said Norris. “And that’s what Tencent is having to grapple with.”Over the years, Tencent and Alibaba have worked hard to remain on the good side of Beijing, with Tencent recently launching a patriotic game called Homeland Dream in time for the People’s Republic of China’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Both have also been called out by name in Senator Marco Rubio’s letter to President Trump as examples of how Chinese companies are used as tools to help “coerce American companies and American citizens to bend to Beijing’s will.”With its growing exposure to international markets and regulation, Tencent finds itself in the middle of a maelstrom of political, economic and cultural grievances. Eight Chinese companies -- two of which are backed by Alibaba -- were this week placed on a U.S. blacklist for allegedly being involved in human rights abuses of a Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region. That follows the Washington government’s discussion about whether to restrict pension fund investments into China.Tencent and the rest of China’s technology companies now have to consider risks they’ve never faced before.“They’re realizing they may not have as many friends as they thought they had across the Pacific,” said Tanner of China Skinny.(Updates with shares from the 11th paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Vlad Savov, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alibaba (BABA) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Alibaba (BABA) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

    Alibaba (BABA) closed at $166.05 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.52% move from the prior day.

  • Nasdaq CEO: Chinese IPOs are 'in our economic interest'
    Yahoo Finance

    Nasdaq CEO: Chinese IPOs are 'in our economic interest'

    Adena Friedman, the CEO of Nasdaq, said it is best for the U.S. to keep the door open to Chinese companies.