Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is becoming more and more like a big internet holding company with fingers in many pies after Jack Ma’s company announced it has agreed to invest $1.25 billion in a Chinese online delivery service named Ele.me in exchange for 27.7% of Ele’s float. Given that there are a billion people in China, the potential market size for food delivery is certainly huge, although it remains to be seen whether the segment can be profitable. Despite the internet population being many times bigger than it was during Webvan’s time, the economics of food delivery still include razor thin margins. Hedge fund sentiment towards Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has been slightly bearish, with the number of elite funds long the stock falling by 25 to 60 quarter over quarter.
The Chinese government’s anti-corruption probe of the private and semi-private sector continues, as China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHA)‘s Chairman, Chang Xiaobing, is the latest bigwig to be accused of ‘severe disciplinary violations’, a euphemism for corruption. Shares of China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHA) fell as much as 3% before closing down 1.6% on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Although a management shake-up is usually bad news, removing corrupt executives from their posts will help the company in the long run.