A woman walks past an Alibaba sign outside the company's office in Beijing, China, on 13 April 2021. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Blacklisted and fined: The end of Chinese tech companies' heyday?

In the aftermath of the US$2.8 billion fine imposed on Alibaba, Xu Le reflects that for Alibaba, this is no big shakes as the amount makes up only a small percentage of its revenue. However, in the larger scheme of things, industry players will be saying goodbye to unregulated days of wild growth. They too will have to grit their teeth and get ready for fiercer domestic competition amid a harsh external environment. Will this mean a slowdown in China's tech and internet sectors?
The logo of Alibaba Group is seen at its office in Beijing, China, 5 January 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Is Alibaba leaving its carefree days behind?

Alibaba’s name is said to be inspired by the song that goes: “Ali Baba is a happy youth!” But after the halting of Ant Group’s listing and being slapped with a 18.228 billion RMB fine, Alibaba faces headwinds. In their anti-monopoly efforts, the authorities seem to have no qualms about making an example of companies like Alibaba. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses the situation.