Asian Markets Rally, Driven by Alibaba Shares on Major Restructuring Announcement

Asian markets opened higher on Wednesday, led by a surge in Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares following news that the Chinese tech giant will be splitting into six separate business units.

As of 9.21 A.M. Bangkok time, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 2.24%, with shares of e-commerce company Alibaba leading the way with a 14% increase. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Tech Index rose by 3.54%

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite fell marginally.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia climbed 0.11% as February inflation came in lower than predicted at 6.8%.

The Nikkei 225 index in Japan rose by 0.44%. South Korea’s Kospi was trading flat.

Overnight in the US, the Nasdaq Composite, which is heavily weighted toward technology companies, dropped 0.45%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.16%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 37.83 points, or 0.12%.

Alibaba Group Holding on Tuesday announced its plan to separate its $220 billion empire into six units, each of which will independently raise capital and investigate initial public offerings (IPOs).

To prepare for future spinoffs and market debuts, the move gives the Chinese tech giant’s main businesses greater liberty to operate in e-commerce, media, and the cloud. 

Alibaba’s move to a holding company form is unusual for major Chinese technology companies but could serve as a model for the business’s competitors. One of Beijing’s main aims in its massive crackdown on the tech sector has been met by the company’s decision to decentralize its business divisions and decision-making power.