Companies

Chinese regulators order Ant Group to rectify its businesses

PTI Hong Kong | Updated on December 28, 2020

The directives could limit Ant Group’s expansion

Chinese regulators have ordered Ant Group, the world’s largest financial technology company, to rectify its businesses and comply with regulatory requirements amid increased scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in the country’s internet sector.

The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, summoned Ant executives on Saturday and ordered them to formulate a rectification plan and an implementation timetable of its business, including its credit, insurance and wealth management services, the regulators said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said Ant Group lacked a sound governance mechanism, defied regulatory compliance requirements and engaged in regulatory arbitrage.

China slams the brakes on Ant Group’s $37-billion listing

It also said that the company used its market position to exclude rivals and hurt the rights and interests of consumers.

The meeting came after Chinese regulators in November halted Ant’s $37-billion stock debut in Shanghai and Hong Kong over regulatory changes, and comes just days after China announced an anti-monopoly investigation of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which owns a 33 per cent stake in Ant Group.

Ant Group IPO suspension alarming for company executives, investors

Directives to Ant Group

The orders from regulators could limit Ant Group’s expansion and throw its lucrative finance businesses into disarray.

Ant Group, which started out as a payments services for Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao, has since expanded to offer insurance and investment products to its hundreds of millions of users in mainland China.

Jack Ma, the founder of both Alibaba and Ant Group, is one of China’s richest and most prominent entrepreneurs.

Regulators ordered Ant Group to establish a financial holding company and hold sufficient capital. They also said that Ant Group should return to its payments origins, enhance transparency around transactions and prohibit unfair competition, while improving corporate governance and ensuring that it complies with regulatory requirements for its businesses.

Ant Group said in a statement on Sunday that it would comply with regulatory requirements and enhance risk management and control, and that a working group would be set up to make the necessary rectifications.

“We appreciate financial regulators’ guidance and help,” the statement said.

“The rectification is an opportunity for Ant Group to strengthen the foundation for our business to grow with full compliance, and to continue focusing on innovating for social good and serving small businesses,” it added.

Published on December 28, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like