LARGEST FIN-TECH IPO STOPPED BY CHINA
The world’s largest initial public offering has been disqualified by Chinese regulatory agencies. Fin-tech giant Ant Financial Group’s controlling shareholder Jack Ma and two other top executives got the news from Chinese regulators today. As a result, The Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended the IPO, which was scheduled for Thursday. A concurrent Hong Kong listing will also be suspended. The halted IPO was scheduled to raise nearly $40 billion and value the company at over $250 billion.
Amidst a turbulent economy and a challenging tech/trade war with the USA, the Chinese government is taking a more assertive role in policing technology companies in China, particularly in fin-tech. The startling news of the halted IPO comes amid increasing concern about the data and market power of Ant Financial and its mobile payments network Alipay in the Chinese economy. Both are now part of Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group and were founded just six years ago. Despite the youth of Ant Financial, the company has a huge impact on how the majority of Chinese citizens pay for goods and services, communicate and borrow money. The Chinese government has become increasingly concerned about how Ant impacts monetary policy as China emerges from the recession caused by the global pandemic.
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