US Said To Be Considering Adding Alibaba, Tencent To China’s Stock Ban
The Trump administration is considering adding Alibaba Group and Tencent to a blacklist of Chinese companies that are allegedly owned or controlled by the Chinese military, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said the plan was still under deliberation and could not be approved while agencies debate its impact on markets.
Alibaba and Tencent The shares fell about three percent in morning trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. US-traded Alibaba shares closed down just over five percent on Wednesday news but were largely unchanged in after-hours trading.
Alibaba and Tencent did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group’s Alipay mobile payment app, raising tensions with Beijing two weeks before president-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The order, first reported by Reuters, tasks the Commerce Department with defining which transactions will be banned under the directive and targets Tencent’s QQ wallet and WeChat Pay as well.
The move is aimed at curbing the threat Chinese software applications pose to Americans, who have large user bases and access to confidential data, a senior official told Reuters.
The order signed by Trump also names CamScanner, Share it, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Office and says that “the United States must take aggressive measures against those who develop or control connected software applications in China to protect our national security.”
A US official told Reuters that while the order gave the Commerce Department 45 days to act, the department plans to act before January 20, when Trump leaves office to identify prohibited transactions.
Trump’s order says that “by accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of user information, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information.”