The Grip Gets Tighter On Jack Ma. China Orders Alibaba To Shed Popular Media Assets.

FILE - In this file photo taken Saturday, March 19, 2016, Jack Ma, then executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, looks up during a panel discussion held as part of the China Development Forum at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. Ma hasn't been seen since he angered regulators with an October 2020 speech. That is prompting speculation about what might happen to the billionaire founder of the world's biggest e-commerce company. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

The Chinese government has intensified the spotlight on Alibaba since 2020, and Monday the Wall Street Journal reported another way they are taking a very active hand in the tech giant created by Jack Ma. 

China reportedly is very concerned about Alibaba’s influence over public opinion there, so they are asking Alibaba to divest some media assists they own. 

One asset is the South China Morning Post, considered to be the premier English-language newspaper in Hong Kong.  Another is Webo, a popular social media site in China that is similar to Twitter. Alibaba has a number of other broadcast, digital, print, social media and advertising assets.   

A source told the Wall Street Journal the reason Alibaba is feeling this heat is because China sees these media holdings as a major threat to Communist Party propaganda. 

The headache for Ma started last fall when he criticized the leadership of the Chinese government and bank regulators in China.  The reaction was swift, as the planned AIP of Ant Group was cancelled and Ma literally stepped away from the public eye. So much so there was concern he had disappeared altogether. 

Ma made his first public appearance in nearly three months in January. 

Alibaba stock started Monday down 2%. 

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