SoftBank Raises USD$22bn as it Reduces Alibaba Stake; UK Ministers Urged to Ditch TikTok 

In today's ExchangeWire news digest: SoftBank raises USD$22bn as it sells off Alibaba stake; senior UK ministers are urged to leave TikTok due to data privacy concerns; and Binance names Yi He as the new head of its VC arm Binance Labs.


SoftBank amasses USD$22bn in Alibaba sell-off

Japan’s SoftBank has raised up to USD$22bn (£18bn) by selling-off around half of its Alibaba stake this year, predominantly through prepaid forward contracts. These contracts allow the company to hold onto the possibility of retaining its shares whilst raising immediate cash.

The sell-offs may shrink the Tokyo-based company’s stake in Alibaba to the extent that it may have to relinquish its board seat and discount its share of the ecommerce giant’s income in its financial statements in the coming years.


Downing Street compelled to shut down TikTok accounts

Senior ministers of the UK government have been urged to close down their TikTok accounts due to concerns about data privacy.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, foreign affairs select committee chair Tom Tugendhat, and the committee’s former vice-chai Nus Ghani appealed to MPs to close down their accounts in a joint letter, stating  “data security risks associated with the app are considerable”. 


Binance appoints Yi He as head of Binance Labs

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has named the company’s co-founder and CMO Yi He as the head of Binance Labs, its VC arm.

Taking on the role from Bill Qian, who left Binance in June, He will manage the day-to-day operations of Binance Labs and drive the company’s global strategy. Commenting on her appointment, He stated her intentions to “build the standard for the blockchain industry” and increase the widespread adoption of Web3.


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Fact of the Day

65% - the percentage of active developers in Web3 who joined in 2021

Source: Electric Capital.