Jack Ma's Ant shares are reportedly worth $17bn

Alibaba is coming off what was likely a big quarter for its e-commerce business.

But China’s most famous tech firm is still poised to face nervous investors on Tuesday as a regulatory crackdown in China continues to cast a shadow over its future.

The company is expected to report a 33% jump in revenue for the quarter ended December compared to a year earlier, according to analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Alibaba (BABA)’s core e-commerce operations have benefited during the coronavirus pandemic as people turned to online shopping to buy things without leaving their homes.

And the most recent quarter included the company’s big Singles Day sales blitz, which brought in tens of billions of dollars last year.

But strong revenue might not be enough to soothe concerns from investors, who have been rattled by worries over how hard Chinese authorities might come down on Jack Ma’s tech empire.

Ma, who co-founded Alibaba more than two decades ago, built the company into one of China’s most powerful tech titans.

It generated nearly $80 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that ended last March, and it has a market capitalization of more than $700 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable tech companies.

But Beijing has become increasingly concerned about the clout that big, private tech firms have over the financial industry and other sensitive areas, and how entrenched they have become to everyday life in China through digital payments apps and other services.

Last November, shares in Alibaba slid even though the company’s earnings topped estimates, as it reported results just after regulators shelved a highly anticipated IPO from its financial affiliate, Ant Group.