Alibaba's Hong Kong-listed shares tumbled another 8% on Monday, after China's central bank released a harshly worded statement Sunday criticizing Ant's business practices and instructing the financial-technology giant to shift its focus back to its mainstay-and less lucrative-digital-payments business. Before regulators intervened, Ant was poised for a public listing that would have valued it at more than $300 billion.
Ant's meteoric rise and dominant role in China's financial landscape has caught the attention of Chinese regulators, who have tried to slow the pace of change.
But if we were to look deeper, by removing entire categories of financial services, Beijing not only reduces Ant's value but freezes its growth prospects, Bloomberg said. It also said that the company used its market position to exclude rivals and hurt the rights and interests of consumers.
Last week, Chinese authorities began a probe into the e-commerce giant, as part of its antitrust clampdown on suspected monopolistic practices in the internet industry, signalling the start of a more involved approach to private sector dealings. The e-commerce firm's USA -listed shares tumbled the most ever on news of the probe. The report cited an unnamed official from the local market regulation watchdog in Zhejiang province, where Alibaba is based.
Ant has issued a statement promising to establish a working group to ensure it is rectifying its issues with the Bank's findings, and would fully comply with the Bank's requirements. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use.
The pressure on Ma is central to a broader effort to curb an increasingly influential internet sphere.
Pan said financial regulators will continue to encourage and support fintech companies, as ever, to make innovations on the premise of serving the real economy and complying with prudent supervision.
European Union nations start assessing post-Brexit trade deal with United Kingdom
We have a duty to spread opportunity more equally across the UK. "We will be able to decide how and where to stimulate new jobs". She struck a subdued tone when she used a line from Romeo and Juliet to express her mood, saying "parting is such sweet sorrow".
Once hailed as drivers of economic prosperity and symbols of the country's technological prowess, the empires built by Ma, Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s "Pony" Ma Huateng and other tycoons are now under scrutiny after amassing hundreds of millions of users and gaining influence over nearly every aspect of daily life in China.
Beijing's regulatory crackdown on China's biggest technology company Alibaba has triggered a widespread sell-off among the country's internet giants, with around £150bn wiped off the four top companies since Christmas Eve.
Those comments are said to have prompted Chinese regulators to suspend Ant's IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai in November.
Meanwhile, Ant's top executives have been working closely with regulators and providing updates on almost a daily basis, according to the report.
Regulators announced Sunday that it had found major problems in Ant Group's business practices in China.
Ant's backers include Warburg Pincus LLC, Carlyle Group Inc., Silver Lake Management LLC, Temasek Holdings Pte and GIC Pte.
Ant owns Alipay, one of the most popular payment apps in China, and also offers online financial services such as loans, investments and credit scoring systems. Both Tencent and Meituan shares are still up substantially for the year. "Ultimately, they will earn less", she said.