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US Government Won’t Ban Investments In Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu

The U.S. government will allow Americans to keep investing in Chinese tech firms Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu after the economic impact of banning them was deemed greater than any threats, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The U.S. initially had those firms along with numerous others on a list to be examined for reported connections to China’s military, intelligence and security services.

Now, those aforementioned three firms will not be added. Nine others will be, along with over 100 subsidiaries of companies already on the list, the Journal writes, quoting sources not named.

This decision comes after a long few weeks of debate in which Treasury officials argued that banning firms like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu from U.S. investors would have a deep economic impact, including en masse sell-offs and economic fallout. But State Department and Pentagon officials wanted the crackdown for a tougher line against Beijing.

U.S. investors have until November to divest their holdings of any firms on the list, WSJ writes.

The new additions to the list are expected to be submitted to Congress and released publicly soon, according to the news outlet.

PYMNTS writes that there are multiple storms brewing in which Big Tech platforms are staring down new antitrust lawsuits and other concerns around the world.

Also in China, Jack Ma’s Ant Group is facing government pressure to scale down and focus only on its payment businesses. Ma reportedly told regulators at a meeting that they could take “any of the platforms” of Ant Group if it was in the interest of the country.

And the Treasury Department is also looking at new rules for cryptocurrency, which would require banks and other financial institutions to obtain and report the identities of those participating in some digital transactions. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the new rules are intended to address “substantial national security concerns.”

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