The turmoil that’s gripped Hong Kong for almost half a year didn’t stop Alibaba from moving forward with an enormous share sale this week. The Chinese e-commerce giant raised about $11 billion in Hong Kong’s largest listing since 2010. It could swell Alibaba’s cash pile to $44 billion, about twice as much as fellow Chinese tech titan Tencent has. Some of the places that money could go include investing to grow the company’s business in Southeast Asia or to bolster its efforts in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.
‘Foothills of a Cold War’
Trade tensions, a shaky outlook for the world economy and the risk of a catastrophic conflict dominated discussions on the first day of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing. Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. and China were in the “foothills of a Cold War,” and warned that the conflict could be worse than World War I if left to run unconstrained. Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates said he was “more passionate about the value of engagement than ever” and worried about those promoting a U.S.-China decoupling. He didn’t see how such bifurcation would be feasible in the technology sphere, where research is published across geographical boundaries. “AI is very hard to put back in the bottle,” Gates said. The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.