China Silences Domestic Media on Alibaba probe


China’s government is asking the country’s media to censor reporting surrounding Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) and the ongoing investigations related to the company, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

The Chinese government’s propaganda arm instructed local media outlets to “strictly invoke” the official line on the antitrust investigations and not to “make changes or engage in extended analysis without permission,” as per FT.

“If any company announcements oppose the official stance, do not publish, do not re-post, do not quote foreign media,” according to the directive that was seen by two FT sources.

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, has not been seen in public even as the companies linked to him are in the eye of the storm, people familiar with the matter told FT.

Alibaba was hit with the antitrust probe in December. In the same month, Chinese officials also met with the company’s payments affiliate Ant Group in order to exercise supervision on operations.