China's Weibo shares tumble 9% after regulator slaps fine on social media giant's operator

  • The Cyberspace Administration of China announced on its official WeChat account that it fined Weibo's operator because some accounts and content has violated relevant laws and regulations.
  • Hong Kong-listed shares of Weibo tumbled more than 9% on Tuesday.
  • Beijing has been engaging in an ongoing regulatory crackdown against its tech giants.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese social networking giant Weibo tumbled more than 9% on Tuesday, as its operator was fined three million yuan ($471,151) by regulators.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said on its official WeChat account that it fined Weibo's operator BJ Weimeng Innovation and Technology Company because some accounts and content violated relevant laws and regulations.

Weibo has faced 44 fines totaling 14.3 million yuan ($2.24 million) in the period from January to November this year, according to the regulator.

Since Weibo's secondary listing in Hong Kong last week, the stock has lost over 10%. Its Nasdaq-listed shares tumbled 6% overnight on Wall Street, and plunged over 26% year-to-date.

Responding to the fine, Weibo said it will put in place the necessary rectification, exercise its responsibility, and keep improving its governance, according to a CNBC translation.

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Beijing has been engaging in an ongoing regulatory crackdown on its tech giants, which have dominated the country's internet space.

Ant Group's high-profile IPO was suspended late last year and the company's executives were summoned by regulators. Since then, regulators have introduced a slew of new rules in areas from antitrust for internet platforms to a bolstered data protection law. Both e-commerce giant Alibaba and food delivery firm Meituan have also been fined for alleged antitrust behavior.

Among the latest developments, Chinese companies listed in the U.S. have been facing political pressure to list nearer to home — amid rising concerns that some will have to delist from the U.S.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi said earlier this month that it will start delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, and make plans to list in Hong Kong instead. Regulators reportedly want Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi to delist from the New York Stock Exchange because of concerns about leakage of sensitive data.

As tensions between the U.S. and China grew, former U.S. President Donald Trump took steps toward removing U.S. investment in Chinese companies, especially those deemed to have alleged ties to the Chinese military.

— CNBC's Iris Wang, Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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