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BABA v the SEC

Yesterday, Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) filed its annual report on Form 20F with the SEC. Included in the report was a disclosure of an SEC investigation into BABA’s accounting. BABA is down over 7% today on a day when the market is up triple digits. This is the disclosure that appears to have hammered the stock:

Earlier this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, informed us that it was initiating an investigation into whether there have been any violations of the federal securities laws. The SEC has requested that we voluntarily provide it with documents and information relating to, among other things: our consolidation policies and practices (including our accounting for Cainiao Network as an equity method investee), our policies and practices applicable to related party transactions in general, and our reporting of operating data from Singles Day. We are voluntarily disclosing this SEC request for information and cooperating with the SEC and, through our legal counsel, have been providing the SEC with requested documents and information. The SEC advised us that the initiation of a request for information should not be construed as an indication by the SEC or its staff that any violation of the federal securities laws has occurred. This matter is ongoing, and, as with any regulatory proceeding, we cannot predict when it will be concluded.

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