Chinese authorities accuse Ant Group of mismanagement, contempt for authority and speculation – Central Bank says Ant used its size to outperform competitors
The billionaire co-founder of Ant Group is missing, as not only did he not appear on his own TV show, but no one has seen him for two months.
In fact, many scenarios and speculations are circulating on the Internet about the whereabouts of the head of the “Asian Amazon”, as Ma had strongly criticized the handling of Chinese leader Xi Jinping over his reform efforts.
About two months ago, investment companies such as Warburg Pincus, Carlyle, Temasek and GIC were expecting huge profits after the largest IPO in the world. Now, however, hundreds of millions of their investments in China’s Ant Group are in the air.
Last Sunday, China imposed on Ant varying the fintech subsidiaries in businesses that operate exclusively in electronic payment modes.
Although the announcement by the country’s central bank was laconic, the decision poses a key threat to billionaire Jack Ma’s most lucrative business. The regulators stopped one step before imposing a total dissolution of the group and imposed decisions on the company in an authoritarian way, “otherwise…”.
Authorities also accused Ant of mismanagement, contempt of court and speculation. The central bank said Ant had used its power to outsmart competitors.
For its part, the company stressed that it will set up a task force to comply with regulatory authorities’ regulations.
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The company will have to launch a new company to manage its financial portfolio which will be controlled by the authorities.
What analysts expect
According to the optimistic scenario, the regulators will proceed with a show of strength, sending a strong message to other companies that may want to “raise their heads”.
According to the pessimistic scenario, there is a high probability that the regulators will split Ant, which will bring about changes in the composition of its share capital and will affect the growing subsidiaries of the group, especially the fintech services which can be absorbed by the new controlled by regulators, subsidiary.
A real nightmare for investors would be the closure of Ant’s services in the fintech industry. These services serve half a billion people.
The private sector in China has managed to balance its relations with the authoritarian Chinese government, namely the Communist Party, for decades. Many analysts say the recent backlash and new measures are due to a recent speech by Ma, who blasted the Chinese government.
“The Communist Party is powerful in China. It controls everything,” said Alex Capri, an analyst at Hinrich Foundation.