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Alibaba browser pulled from Chinese app stores

The Alibaba group is accused of misleading advertising, as Xi Jinping warns tech crackdown will continue.

Chinese internet companies have pulled an Alibaba internet browser from their app stores a day after President Xi Jinping warned that Beijing’s crackdown on big tech companies was just beginning.

The decision to remove the popular UC Browser is the latest hit to the empire of Jack Ma, China’s most famous entrepreneur, after regulators scuppered the record $37bn initial public offering of Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial technology affiliate. Ma has barely been seen in public since the listing was pulled last November, as Xi tightens Beijing’s grip on the economy.

The decision came a day after a Communist party leadership meeting chaired by the president issued an unusually blunt warning to the country’s tech sector over its growing size and influence. “Some platform companies are growing in an inappropriate manner and therefore bear risks. It is a considerable problem that the current regulatory regime has failed to adjust” to the rise of these groups, the minutes of the meeting said.