China Hits Ant Group with $985 Million Fine

Chinese authorities on Friday announced a nearly $1 billion fine against financial technology firm Ant Group. This comes nearly three years after regulators halted the company’s record-breaking public offering plan, which kicked off heavy government scrutiny of the technology company.

fine announced The move by China’s top securities regulator is seen as a sign that the regulator has ended its probe into tech companies, ending an era of heavy regulation of the industry. Officials announced earlier this year that they would begin easing supervision of tech companies. Following the 2020 crackdown on Ant, Ant’s sister company e-commerce giant Alibaba was fined a record $2.8 billion in antitrust fines, while ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing was fined 12. A billion dollar fine was imposed.

Regulators have fined Ant and its subsidiary 7.1 billion yuan ($985 million) and ordered the company to shut down its crowdfunding platform Xianghu Bao for medical expenses. The regulator also announced a change of focus, saying that “most of the outstanding issues in the technology giant’s financial business have been corrected.”

Ant Group said: statement The company said, “We have been actively correcting our business since 2020,” and said, “We will comply with the penalties in a sincere and sincere manner.”

Founded in 2014, Ant is one of the world’s largest online financial technology companies. In November 2020, Chinese authorities canceled Ant’s blockbuster initial public offering days before Ant was expected to be the world’s largest IPO, raising an estimated $34 billion in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

A month later, Ant was ordered by Chinese regulators to review its operations. The People’s Bank of China, the central bank of China, Said At the time, Ant was “indifferent” to the law. The central bank ordered the company to increase transparency, strengthen corporate governance and establish a holding company.

The investigation into Ant began after founder and billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators for stifling innovation and being overly cautious in 2020. Then Ma, China’s most prominent tech entrepreneur, disappeared from the public eye.

Earlier this year, Ant Group announced that Ma would relinquish control of the company. Around the same time, the People’s Bank of China announced that its regulatory campaign against big tech was largely over. Ma recently returned to mainland China after spending a lot of time abroad, sparking speculation that he may return to a larger role at Alibaba. Last month, in a major overhaul, two long-time executives who helped Ma found Alibaba were appointed to lead the company.

Alibaba Group announced in March that it would become a holding company and reorganize the group into six different business units, each with its own chief executive officer and board of directors. The decision could help the divisions successfully complete their IPOs, and also allay Beijing’s concerns about the tech giant’s concentration of power and influence.

Ant’s estimated value was cut to around $63.8 billion from $235 billion before its IPO was halted by Chinese authorities in November 2020. According to Bloomberg.

Related Articles

Back to top button