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Apps in Beijing's crosshairs as crackdown heats up

NEW YORK : U.S.-traded shares of several China-based tech-related firms, including Alibaba Holding, Tencent Music Entertainment Group and iQiyi, slid on Thursday in the wake of Beijing's findings that 43 apps illegally handled user data and directed their parent companies to fix the problem.

Alibaba Holding was last off 6.3per cent, while Tencent Music Entertainment Group was most recently down 6.9per cent and video streamer iQiyi had slid 4.0per cent.

Exchange traded funds IShares China Largecap ETF and iShares MSCI China ETF were down 1.6per cent and 2.1per cent, respectively.

The action by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIT) was the latest move in a months-long Chinese regulatory crackdown, which has affected e-commerce, gaming, ride-hailing apps, cryptocurrencies and other sectors.

On Tuesday, Beijing's anti-trust regulator introduced sweeping draft rules targeting data-rich firms in a move to tighten its control over its technology sector.

Looking ahead, investors anticipate the possibility of reforms affecting the healthcare sector, as well as stringent new data security laws.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: Reuters

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