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Alibaba puts in new application to invest in Taiwan: regulator


[TAIPEI] Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has put in another application to invest in Taiwan under rules for mainland-backed companies, a Taiwanese regulator said Friday.

Alibaba submitted its new application a month ago and it is currently being reviewed, Emile Chang, executive secretary for the Investment Commission under Taiwan's economics ministry, told Reuters.

The commission is responsible for reviewing foreign and Chinese investments into Taiwan, and had fined Alibaba and its online marketplace Taobao for violating investment rules required for a Chinese company.

The regulator had also given Alibaba until August to put in another application to operate in Taiwan or pull out of the island. Last month, the commission also set a six-month deadline for Alibaba's online marketplace Taobao operations.

An Alibaba spokesperson declined to discuss the details of the review.

The Chinese e-commerce giant entered Taiwan in 2008 through Singapore-registered Singapore E-commerce Private Ltd, which Alibaba says established operations in Taiwan in accordance to regulations at the time.

Alibaba's Taiwan unit of Taobao had registered on the island as a branch of Taobao in Hong Kong.

Chinese investments into the island are regulated strictly because mainland China is still considered a political enemy despite growing trade and economic ties since the late 2000s.

China deems Taiwan a renegade province and has not ruled out the use of force to take it back, particularly if the island makes a move toward independence.