Alibaba’s shares fall after unconfirmed rumors connect Jack Ma with an investigation

Alibaba is headquartered in Hangzhou, China.

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Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares were about 1% lower on Tuesday – after previously falling more than 9% – after unconfirmed rumors linked the company’s founder Jack Ma to a national security survey.

Chinese state media reported earlier in the morning that Hangzhou’s security agency on April 25 took “criminal coercive measures” against a person with the surname Ma on suspicion of using the Internet to endanger national security.

CNBC was unable to confirm the Chinese report. Alibaba and the Jack Ma Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Subsequent updates from state media indicated that the person had a first name with two Chinese characters instead of one. Jack Ma’s first name in Chinese has only one character.

Such “coercive measures” may include detention, arrest or bail. The security bureau is also investigating the case, state media inform.

Jack Ma stepped down from Alibaba’s board in 2020 and no longer has executive responsibilities, the company said in a July 2021 statement.

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