China’s Alibaba Hits Pause on Investments in India Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions, Report Says

(Source: Alibaba)

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has put on hold plans to invest in Indian companies amid rising geo-political tension between the two nations, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing two unnamed sources.

The Chinese internet giant, which has invested more than $2 billion in Indian companies since 2015, will not put in fresh funds to expand its investments in the country for at least six months, the report said.

However, Alibaba does not intend to reduce its stakes or exit investments.

Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment.

Alibaba Group, and its affiliate Ant, are major investors in a handful of unicorns in India, including mobile payment app Paytm, in which it owns about a 30% stake, food delivery startup Zomato, grocery delivery startup BigBasket and online shopping site Snapdeal.

The decision comes amid rising geo-political tensions between the two nations, which escalated when 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a military clash in the Himalayas in June. India retaliated by imposing stricter curbs on Chinese goods and businesses amid calls for boycotts. 

In addition, the Indian government in June also banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, citing “national security” as the primary reason. 

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Earlier this month, the Confederation of all India Traders launched the “China Quit India” campaign to boycott Chinese goods, while its members held protests across 600 locations across the country. It said that Chinese investments in government projects and various sensitive construction works should be put under government scanner, Bloomberg Quint reported

“No one is planning to put their stakes in Indian ventures on the block given the market conditions and the fact that there aren’t many buyers,” the source told Reuters.