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Daily Digest | Tear down this wall!

Written by The Uptake Published on   2 mins read

Are Tencent and Alibaba calling a truce?

Hi there. It’s Brady again, here to round out your week.

If you’re into e-commerce, then news from the past couple of days in China surely piques your interest. For eight years, Alibaba and Tencent have engaged in a soft turf war, blocking links to each other’s sites and carving the country’s tech scene into factions based on business alliances and investments. To some extent, the division has spread into Southeast Asia too—Lazada calls itself the “regional flagship” of the Alibaba Group, which also owns a stake in Tokopedia.

But the situation may be changing, largely because regulators said Tencent and Alibaba need to make good and ditch their monopolistic ways. For now, it’s unclear how the two conglomerates will open their services to one another, but there will be incredible consequences for the e-commerce sector and other fields no matter the degree. We unpacked the significance of this development for the two companies as well as Pinduoduo and ByteDance.

The three-pronged crackdown in China—antitrust, fintech, and data sovereignty—is far from over, but the lines of conflict are already being redrawn in momentous ways. Similar policies are being debated and shaped in major economies around the world. Beijing just happens to be a step or two ahead of the pack.

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