Out of favor with the government
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma cedes control of financial giant Ant Group. The founder of the company and the largest Chinese trading platform Alibaba is thus withdrawing further from his online empire.
Jack Ma, the founder of the financial giant Ant Group and the largest Chinese trading platform Alibaba, continues to withdraw from his online empire. (archive picture)
This emerged from a message from Ant Group on Saturday. The move comes as Chinese regulators cracked down on the fintech giant’s planned IPO two years ago and have reined in the booming tech sector ever since.
The departure of apparently disgraced founder Ma could reignite plans for an IPO for Ant Group. However, Chinese stock markets require a waiting period of two to three years after such corporate governance changes. Hong Kong, on the other hand, only has one year.
Ant Group is behind the Chinese mobile payment system Alipay with more than a billion users. The IPO planned for 2020 was to be the largest in the world at $35 billion and failed at the last minute due to regulatory authorities.
Since then, the 58-year-old multi-billionaire has largely withdrawn from the public eye, according to press reports he lived longer in Japan last year and was seen by chance in Thailand last week.