Daily Crunch: Alibaba faces antitrust probe


Chinese authorities investigate an e-commerce giant, Google may be tightening its grip on research and VCs weigh in on the year’s biggest surprises. This is your (briefer than usual) Daily Crunch for December 24, 2020.

The big story: Alibaba faces antitrust probe

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said that it’s investigating the e-commerce giant over a policy that forces merchants to sell exclusively with Alibaba and skip rival platforms JD.com and Pinduoduo.

“Alibaba will actively cooperate with the regulators on the investigation,” the company said in a statement. “Company business operations remain normal.”

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have already called off the initial public offering of Alibaba affiliate Ant Group, and the company has now received another “meeting notice” from regulators.

Holiday grab bag

Google reportedly tightens grip on research into ‘sensitive topics’ — Reuters, citing researchers at the company and internal documents, reports that Google has implemented new controls in the last year, including an extra round of inspection for papers on certain topics.

Five VCs discuss what surprised them the most in 2020 — The latest episode of Equity reflects on a year that no one could have predicted.

Gift Guide: Last-minute subscriptions to keep the gifts going all year — They’re easy to order at the very last minute, easy to give from afar and they’ll spread the gifting fun out over weeks and months.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

The built environment will be one of tech’s next big platforms — An in-depth look at Sidewalk Labs’ abandoned Toronto waterfront project.

US seed-stage investing flourished during pandemic — According to a TechCrunch analysis of PitchBook data and a survey of venture capitalists, a few trends became clear.

Use Git data to optimize your developers’ annual reviews — Three metrics can help you understand true performance quality.

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