US watchdog probes Alibaba

The monster Chinese ecommerce site Alibaba is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a filing – with the SEC – the company disclosed the financial regulator was looking into its accounting practices. That investigation includes Alibaba's biggest PR effort: the huge revenue generated on China's "Singles' Day." The company claimed it had sold $1bn worth of goods on that day; the SEC wants to know how it came up with that figure.

Alibaba said it was cooperating with the investigation and noted that the SEC has said that a request for information "should not be construed as an indication by the SEC or its staff that any violation of the federal securities laws has occurred." ®

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