Alibaba raises buyback to $25B to boost slumping stock

BEIJING (AP) — Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, increased a share buyback to $25 billion from $15 billion on Tuesday to prop up a stock price that has fallen by more than half since the ruling Communist Party tightened control over tech industries by launching regulatory crackdowns.

The increase is a “sign of confidence in the company’s continued growth,” Alibaba said. The company said it has paid out $9.2 billion so far in the buyback announced earlier.

Alibaba’s U.S.-traded shares have fallen 56%, wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars of stock market value, since the ruling party launched anti-monopoly and data-security crackdowns in 2019. Alibaba has been fined and a planned stock market debut by Ant Group, an online finance company spun off from Alibaba, was postponed.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-traded shares were trading 4.8% higher on Tuesday.

Chinese leaders tried last week to stop the stock market slide by promising support for technology companies but gave no details of possible initiatives.

The ruling party has expressed concern private sector tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent Holding are too independent and might use their market dominance to suppress competition and hurt economic growth.

Alibaba earlier reported profit for the final quarter of 2021 fell 74% from a year earlier to 20.4 billion yuan ($3.2 billion). Revenue rose 10% to 242.6 billion yuan ($38 billion).

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Alibaba Group: www.alibabagroup.com

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