A short-selling row highlights the dodgy metrics of online commerce
IT WAS A spectacular bit of timing. On November 16th Baidu, a Chinese online-search giant, said it would buy YY Live, a China-focused video-streaming service with 40m monthly users, for $3.6bn. Two days later Muddy Waters, an American short-seller, published a report claiming YY Live was “an ecosystem of mirages” and “almost entirely fake”. The share price of JOYY, YY Live’s parent company, slid by 26%.