The headquarters of the Alibaba Group in Beijing. Photo: AFP
At 97, you might not expect legendary investor Charlie Munger to have much patience with Beijing’s regulatory chaos these last 12 months. You’d be wrong, as Warren Buffett’s right-hand increases bets on Alibaba Group. Alibaba is China Inc’s “patient zero” on two fronts. It was the first big tech-sector success that President Xi Jinping’s economy put on the global scoreboard. Founder Jack Ma was also the first tycoon Xi’s Communist Party went after, when it scuttled a November 2020 initial public offering by Ant Group. Is the worst over for Alibaba, whose shares are down 45% over the last 12 months? Amazon, by comparison, is down a less spectacular 5%, while Japan’s Rakuten Group is down about 10%.