Ant Group announces overhaul
IslamNews – The fintech sister company of Alibaba, which is owned by Jack Ma, announced on Monday that it would undertake a sweeping, government-ordered overhaul of its business after meeting with regulators, who expressed concerns that it holds too much power in the market.
On Saturday, China’s antitrust authority fined Alibaba $2.8 billion. Ant has tangled with regulators for years; in November, Beijing officials dashed the company’s plans for the biggest I.P.O. in history after Mr. Ma appeared to push the government’s willingness to be criticized too far.
Concerns: The size of Ant’s flagship app, Alipay, an indispensable tool for more than 700 million users monthly, puts Ant at the center of a swirl of concerns for Beijing at a time when its leader, Xi Jinping, is seeking greater control over the economy.
What’s next: Ant will apply to become a financial holding company, putting it under more scrutiny and requiring it to hold onto more money. Ant also said it would “return to its payment origins,” the initial concept for Alipay before it expanded into consumer credit and small-business loans, and strengthen protections for user data.
Source: The New York Times