Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group saw its stock hit its lowest point since its record-breaking IPO last September as investor concern over the Chinese economy continues to grow. Alibaba Group shares were down by as much as $5 on Tuesday as it become the most heavily traded stock on on the New York Stock Exchange in what would have been its worst intraday trading in five months, before eventually closing down 0.8%. It’s a far cry from last September when Alibaba’s $21.8 billion IPO was the largest in U.S. history and Jack Ma’s company briefly had a higher valuation than Walmart.
This is taking place against a landscape that has seen China’s stock market lose nearly 28% since mid-June amid concerns about slowing growth in the world second-largest economy. During that time, Alibaba Group itself has lost 9.7%, and has declined on 11 of the past 16 trading days. Its film unit, Alibaba Pictures, which trades in Hong Kong, has dropped from $3.26 per share a month ago to $1.69 a share on Wednesday.
Other Chinese media companies are being affected the wider sell-off with internet search engine Baidu and video streaming site Youku Tudou both down. The Chinese government has introduced a number of measure to stem the slide, including prohibiting IPOs and calling on brokerages to invest in the market, as well as the Chinese central bank itself investing an undisclosed amount in China Securities Finance Corp (CSF)., a state-owned company that makes margin loans to brokers as well as further supporting the CSF through interbank lending, bond issuance, and collateral backed financing and re-lending.
The wider concerns over the Chinese economy are not necessarily a reflection on Alibaba’s performance not are they having a direct impact on the company’s day to day activities just yet. The company announced it had invested $100 million in luxury flash sale website Mei.com as well as another $206 million into Singapore Post Limited.
On the film front, Alibaba Pictures recently announced its first-ever Hollywood investment with an undisclosed co-financing agreement with Paramount for the latest instalment of Tom Cruise secret agent franchise Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation.