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Alibaba founder Jack Ma, whose company owns 51 per cent of Tianhong, the fund management company that structures financial products for the e-commerce giant.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma, whose company owns 51 per cent of Tianhong, the fund management company that structures financial products for the e-commerce giant.
(BOBBY YIP/REUTERS)

Chinese banking just got a little more shadowy

Alibaba isn’t a bank. But for customers it’s getting hard to tell the difference. Users of China’s dominant e-commerce website can now deposit funds, make investments, take out loans and even give out gifts of virtual cash. In taking on China’s lenders, Alibaba and its online rivals may be taking on bank-like risk.