Bloomberg – China wants to reduce businessman Jack Ma’s technological and financial empire , as well as have stakes in his businesses, according to Chinese officials and government advisers cited by The Wall Street Journal.
Ant Group , the entrepreneur’s tech giant, would once again be an online payment provider, like PayPal, while its loan and investment businesses would shrink, according to the newspaper.
Regulators, led by the Chinese central bank, ordered Ant Group to form a separate financial holding company , which would be subject to capital requirements applied to banks, the newspaper detailed.
The latter, the newspaper noted, would open the door for state banks or other Chinese government entities to buy the firm to strengthen its capital base, according to the sources.
Currently China’s national pension fund, China Development Bank, and China International Capital, the nation’s leading state investment bank, are already investors in Ant.
Jack Ma, the richest person in the Asian country, has helped define China’s new economy with his two companies: Ant and Alibaba , an e-commerce subsidiary, which is facing an antitrust investigation that could also lead to a review of your business, the WSJ said .
Ant Group is contemplating placing its financial operations in a holding company that could be regulated more like a bank, according to people familiar with the situation. This change could affect the growth of your most profitable units.
The fintech plans to move any units that require a financial license to the holding company if it gets regulatory approval , said the people, who requested anonymity. The plans are still under review and are subject to change, the people said. Ant declined to comment.
The operations Ant is looking to bring into the holding include wealth management services, consumer loans, insurance, payments and MYbank, an online bank in which Ant is the largest shareholder, the people said. Under the holding company structure, Ant’s businesses would likely be subject to more capital constraints , which could limit its ability to further credit and expand at the rate of recent years.
That said, the proposals suggest that Ant could still operate in financial services beyond its payments business, reducing investor concern about how to interpret Sunday’s message from the Central Bank when it asked Ant to go back to its roots as payment provider.
Chinese regulators also directed Ant to devise a plan to reorganize its business , the latest in a series of measures to control Ma’s online financial empire. While it did not directly request a break-up of the company, the central bank stressed that Ant he needed to “understand the need to restructure his business” and develop a schedule as soon as possible.
Last month, Ant was set for an initial public offering that would have valued it at more than $ 300 billion, but regulators suspended the IPO.
Under the rules that went into effect in November, non-financial companies that control at least two cross-sector financial institutions must have a financial holding license. The rules on how financial holding companies could be regulated remain in deliberations.