Alibaba fintech arm Ant explores ways for Jack Ma to exit as Beijing piles pressure



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Alibaba fintech arm Ant explores ways for Jack Ma to exit as Beijing piles pressure

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.’s fintech arm, Ant Group, had been exploring options for a potential sale of its stakes held by founder Jack Ma, which in effect would rub out ‘the salesman turned in to a billionaire’ business magnate’s control over the fintech group, as a latest meet between Ant Group and Chinese regulators had hinted such moves would help ease Beijing’s pressure over the fintech giant’s businesses, a Bloomberg news report published late on Saturday had unveiled citing at least three unnamed people familiar with the negotiation.

In point of fact, latest media topline on a potential exit of Jack Ma from his fintech megalith Ant Group, whose $37 billion dual listing in Mainland Shanghai and Hang Seng was postponed following sharp rebuke from regulators over its business practices later last year, came against the backdrop of a Wall Street Journal report that cited sources as saying that the Ant founder, Jack Ma, had offered to hand out part of his stake in the group to Chinese Government in a November meeting.

Officials of People’s Bank of China (China’s Central Bank) and financial regulators of China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission held several talks with Jack Ma and multiple Ant Group board members between January and March, while a probable exit of the business titan from Ant Group was conferred, said the sources.

China’s Ant considers an exit of founder Jack Ma

Nevertheless, although it remained uncertain on whether Ma’s stake sale to Chinese pro-CCP-backed Government had been under consideration, sources were quoted saying that the company was expecting Jack Ma’s stake, worth of billions of dollars, could be sold off either to its e-commerce affiliate Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.

or to the existing investors. Chinese fintech giant Ant Group which owns the mobile payment platform Alipay, began to meet with harsh scolding on October last year after the group’s founder Jack Ma had criticized the country’s business legislations.