Alibaba hit with Antitrust probe

China’s State Administration of Market Regulation announced an antitrust investigation into Alibaba, based on suspected monopolistic practices, including Alibaba’s tactic of forcing merchants to sell exclusively on its platform, a practice known as ‘pick one of two’. The investigation is one of the first of its kind into a large Chinese tech company and comes as authorities are subjecting Alibaba’s ecommerce and fintech activities to an unprecedented amount of scrutiny. Ant Group, Alibaba’s affiliate, has been summoned by a group of finance authorities to discuss issues related to fair competition and consumer protection.