Alibaba Faces SEC Accounting Probe

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is currently under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its accounting practices.

In an SEC filing Wednesday, the e-tailer disclosed that earlier this year it received a letter from the commission, stating that its regulators had launched an investigation into whether Alibaba’s accounting procedures violated federal laws.

The SEC has requested that we voluntarily provide it with documents and information relating to, among other things: our consolidation policies and practices (including our accounting for Cainiao Network as an equity method investee), our policies and practices applicable to related party transactions in general, and our reporting of operating data from Singles Day,” Alibaba said in its filing.

(Alibaba said last year that $14.32 billion was spent on its website during its Singles Day, held on Nov. 11, 2015).

Alibaba — which has previously come under fire for alleged counterfeit activity on its platforms — said it is has been providing the SEC with the requested documents and information.

The firm added that it had been advised by the SEC that the initiation of a request for information should not be viewed as an indication that the company had violated any of the federal security laws.

During the past year, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma has been a major proponent for rebranding China as a consumption-based economy while trying to further expand the mega-firm, which went public in September 2014, beyond Asian borders.

Alibaba Group director and CEO Daniel Zhang has said that globalization is Alibaba Group’s most important task for the coming decades. Its goal: to work with 10 million global businesses and serve 2 billion international consumers.

As the company seeks to meet those objectives, the impact of an SEC inquiry and ongoing concerns over Alibaba’s allegedly lax efforts to prevent counterfeit activity on its platforms remain in question.

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