Recently, the CEO of the Chinese Delivery Giant Meituan had posted a verse from a 1,100 year old poem on the Chinese microblogging site Fanfou(Weibo). Over the course of the next 2 days, his company lost $26 billion in value and he personally lost $2.5 billion of his wealth!
The reason? The quote.
The verse he posted was from the poem The Burning Book which criticized Qin Shi Huang, who proclaimed himself the first “emperor” of a unified China in 221 BC.
- Many took it as an indirect criticism of the government, which has been on the back of some of the tech giants of the country in the name of antitrust and is implementing strict regulations.
- Others compared it to the way Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma criticized the government last year.
Either way, it lead to investors and the public becoming doubtful of the company’s prospects in the near future as is clear from the market reaction to the stock of Meituan.