Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's company Alibaba has decided to shut down its music streaming platform, Xiami Music, from February, indicating the company's plan to stay away from Chinese entertainment industry. The music app was started in 2013 and the company had pumped in millions to make it competitive.
"Due to operational adjustments, we will stop the service of Xiami Music from February 5," Xiami Music said via its Weibo account, reported LiveMint.
The decision to stop Xiami Music service comes days after Ma's Alibaba group announced to fold its financial operations as Chinese regulators stepped up crackdown on Jack Ma's financial technology empire.
Ant Group is reportedly considering to scale down most of its financial businesses, including consumer lending and AliPay, into a holding company that will be tightly regulated. The Chinese authorities are reviewing Ant group's equity investments in many companies. However, they are yet to decide as to how they should deal with its growing influence in the fintech and technology space, which may even be violating fair competition rules.
Experts say if Chinese regulators enforce Ma's company to divest stake in group firms, it'll mean huge financial loss and significantly hurt its influence in the fast-growing fintech industry. Alibaba and Ant group firms have significantly profited through synergies and investments in recent years.
Also, Reuters had reported in early December that Ant was considering selling its 30 per cent stake in Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm amid tensions between the two Asian neighbours and a toughening competitive landscape. Paytm and Ant had at that time said the information was incorrect.
The scrutiny on Ma's companies also comes close on the heels of his repeated criticism of Chinese regulators, who he compared to "old people's club." In October 2020, he said Chinese regulators have a "pawnshop mentality" and that a company like AliPay was unsuitable for a financial regulatory structure like that of China's.