Naspers’s exposure to the unpredictable behaviour of the Chinese government was evident on Friday for the second time in a matter of weeks. The share price of Naspers’s most valuable asset, Tencent, slumped 5% following news that the Chinese government’s cyber regulator had launched an investigation into the country’s top social media sites. Beijing media outlet Caixin Global reported in July that China Railway had welcomed Tencent to its share-holding reform programme. The reform is part of a government-led initiative to improve the efficiency of lumbering state-owned enterprises by getting private capital to invest in large state-owned monopolies. On the day of the report, the Tencent share price surged to its highest level since listing in 2004. But Friday’s intervention by the government hit sentiment across the sector as news got out that Tencent’s WeChat and its competitors Weibo and Baidu were being investigated. The move by the Cyberspace Administration of China was related ...

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