Alibaba chief calls new Chinese competition rules ‘necessary’

Alibaba chief calls new Chinese competition rules ‘necessary’

Daniel Zhang strikes supportive tone following collapse of Ant Group IPO plan

WUZHEN, China — China’s move to develop rules to restrict internet companies’ anti-competitive practices are “timely and necessary,” according to Daniel Zhang, chairman and chief executive of e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding.

Speaking on Monday at China’s annual government-sponsored World Internet Conference in the eastern city of Wuzhen, Zhang said the emergence of Chinese internet companies onto the global stage was made possible by Beijing’s market reforms and development policies.

“Development and governance help each other forward and are mutually dependent,” Zhang said. “Relevant government agencies are seeking feedback on policies and regulations to ensure the orderly development of the internet economy. We think this is very timely and necessary.”

Zhang’s affirmation comes just three weeks after Chinese regulators blocked the stock market debut of Alibaba’s sister company Ant Group, which had been expected to raise up to $39.6 billion as the world’s largest initial public offering, in a last-minute intervention. Some have traced the move to a speech that Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba and Ant, had made in late October criticizing financial regulators.