Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

The founder of China’s Meituan has donated shares in the food-delivery giant worth more than $2 billion to his own philanthropic foundation, amid heightened scrutiny of the country’s tech sector.

Billionaire Wang Xing, who is also the company’s chief executive, transferred about 57.3 million shares to his foundation, stock-exchange filings late Thursday showed. Based on that day’s closing stock price of 307.40 Hong Kong dollars, or the equivalent of about $39.62, the donation was valued at about $2.3 billion.

The company and other Chinese tech giants have come under pressure from Chinese regulators, who are pushing the firms to compete fairly and to protect the interests of consumers and other stakeholders.

In April, China’s top commerce regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation, fined Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. $2.8 billion. Soon after, nearly three dozen of China’s largest tech companies, including Meituan and e-commerce group Pinduoduo Inc., publicly pledged that they would comply with the country’s antimonopoly laws.

Meituan is itself the subject of a probe from the commerce regulator, while Mr. Wang has also fanned online controversy. Last month he posted, and later deleted, an ancient poem that some internet users took as veiled criticism of China’s government. He said it was intended to refer to Meituan’s competitors.

By rahul