Billionaire Jack Ma gives up control of China's Ant Group

Jan 08

Chinese business magnate Jack Ma will cede control of fintech giant Ant Group after a Communist Party crackdown on the nation’s tech sector that targeted the billionaire.

The firm announced Saturday it was altering its ownership structure so "no stakeholder, alone or jointly, will control Ant Group."

Ant's $37bn IPO was cancelled at the last minute in November 2020. It necessitated a restructure of the financial technology firm and sparked rumours the Chinese billionaire might lose control.

Ma possessed 53.46 percent of Ant Group's shares, making him its "control person." According to the statement, he will now have 6.2% of the voting rights.

Ant said the change will strengthen its organisational structure and long-term growth.

Beijing has two issues with Ma, says capital scholar Andrew Collier.

Collier said Ma is a "well-funded, popular billionaire who controls two huge firms" who started competing with state-owned banks in China, "the backbone of the economy."

"They considered he was a threat for these two reasons and are reducing him"

Ant operates Alipay, the world's largest digital payments platform, with hundreds of millions of monthly users.


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