Jack Ma Relinquishes Control of Financial Giant Ant Group
The founder of the company behind the digital payment service Alipay continues to withdraw. The move could revive plans for an IPO for the company. Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is giving up control of the financial giant Ant Group. The founder of the company and the largest Chinese trading platform, Alibaba, is withdrawing more from his Internet empire, said a statement issued by the Ant Group on Saturday.
The move comes against the backdrop of a crackdown by Chinese regulators, who blocked the fintech group from going public two years ago and have continued to rein in the booming tech sector ever since.
The departure of the apparently disgraced founder could reignite Ant Group’s IPO plans. However, Chinese stock markets require a waiting period of two to three years after these corporate governance changes. Hong Kong, on the other hand, only has one year.
Withdraw from Public Display
Ant Group is behind the Chinese mobile payment system Alipay with more than 1 billion users. The IPO planned for 2020 was set to be the world’s largest at $35 billion and backed off at the last minute due to regulatory authorities.
Since then, the 58-year-old billionaire Ma has largely withdrawn from the public eye. According to press reports, he lived longer in Japan last year and was accidentally seen in Thailand last week.