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Alibaba Sells Remaining Stake in Top Indian Online Payment Provider Paytm

China's Once Prosperous Private Sector is Dying Under XI's Repression

Amid tensions between Beijing and New Delhi, the largest Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, has sold the last of its shares in Paytm, India’s most popular digital payment app. According to statistics released on Friday by India’s National Stock Exchange, Singapore E-commerce Private Ltd sold 21.43 million shares of One 97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, for 642.74 rupees each (NSE). According to CNN figures, the sale is valued roughly 13.77 billion rupees ($167 million).

According to NSE statistics, Alibaba reduced its shares in Paytm from 6.26% by selling nearly 3% of the company for $125 million in January.

It sold all of its direct ownership in Paytm in the agreement on Friday.

On Friday, One 97 Communications’ stock fell by over 8%. On Monday, it made a tiny recovery.

Alipay from India

Paytm, which was established in 2010, is the biggest payment platform in India, with more than 300 million registered users and more than 20 million businesses. It is supported by well-known investors like Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Softbank (SFTBF), and Ant Group, a subsidiary of Alibaba (BRKA)

In September 2015, Alibaba and Ant Group extended Ant Group’s original investment in Paytm from February of that year with a “strategic” investment in Paytm.

The investment, according to Alibaba at the time, would improve its capacity to capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly expanding mobile commerce market and digital banking sector in India. Since Ant made the first investment, Paytm and Ant Group have been collaborating on “synergies,” according to the firm, Ant Group, which runs China’s top mobile payment platform

India’s IPO boom has quickly collapsed.

After New Delhi established regulations in 2020 that made it impossible for Chinese investors to invest in Indian companies, Alibaba progressively withdrew from its interests there.

Long the source of conflict between New Delhi and Beijing, China and India share a disputed border. Tensions reached a breaking point in June 2020 when hand-to-hand fighting between the two sides in the Himalayas led in the deaths of at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.

Indian and Chinese troops clashed once more along the border in December of last year. At the time, it was the first confirmed incident between the two nuclear-armed Asian nations in almost two years, however later, video emerged that suggested an unrecorded clash took place.

Early in 2021, Alibaba sold the Indian giant Tata Group a significant portion of its ownership in the online grocery retailer BigBasket. Alibaba and Ant Group sold all of their shares in Paytm Mall, the company’s online store, in May 2022. According to Reuters, the Ant Group reportedly sold a 3% share in Zomato for $200 million in November 2022.

Domestic regulatory crackdowns and economic challenges have also put pressure on Alibaba. The company’s sales growth has been significantly slowed, its share price has been decimated, and business expansion has become more challenging as a result of a government drive to control the nation’s technology giants and a bad economy.

For the first time since going public in 2014, Alibaba reported flat revenue growth in the previous year.

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