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Ant Group to Become Financial Holding Company as Part of Alibaba Settlement: Report

The terms of the restructuring are expected to curb the Alibaba affiliate's profitability and valuation.

Apr 12, 2021 at 3:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:39 p.m. UTC

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) confirmed Monday that Jack Ma’s giant Ant Group will restructure as a financial holdings company.

  • Ant Group whose $37 billion initial public offering (IPO) was suspended by China’s regulators in November, will restructure as a financial holding company, according to a CNBC report. 
  • The terms of the restructuring are expected to curb Ant Group's profitability and valuation.
  • Two days ago, Chinese regulators hit Alibaba with a $2.8 billion fine as part of its anti-monopoly investigation of the tech giant, claiming the company had abused its market dominance. The restructuring of Ant Group is part of the terms of the settlement of those claims, CNBC said.
  • The PBoC said that under a “comprehensive and feasible restructuring plan” Ant Group would cut the “improper” linkage with payments services including AliPay, Jiebei, and Huabei, said the report.
  • In February, it emerged Chinese regulators had agreed on a restructuring plan with Ant Group that would combine all its business segments, including its blockchain arm, into a financial holding company, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Ant Group is known for its major subsidiaries including Alipay and Kakao, but it also has a blockchain arm offering services based on its own AntChain technology.
  • The outspoken billionaire Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Group, and has been keeping a low profile since October when he publicly criticized China’s financial system and its state-dominated banking sector at a Shanghai event.
  • Recently, PBoC Digital Currency Research Institute director Mu Changchun has been openly discussing the central bank's own digital currency and the need to address privacy issues, stating “a completely anonymous central bank digital currency is not feasible” as it would violate anti-money laundering regulations.

DISCLOSURE

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