China’s richest tech tycoon Jack Ma has been reportedly Fintech Pioneer Advised by the mainland government against leaving the country, in the midst of a major overhaul of Ant Group.
China Fintech Pioneer Advised Against Leaving Country
After the last appearance of Ma – China’s second-richest overall behind Zhong Shanshan, founder of bottled water firm Nongu Spring – when he called out mainland authorities for outdated regulations at a Shanghai summit in October, Ant’s founder has not been seen in the public spotlight.
Since then, his businesses have faced a series of headwinds: a suspended $35 billion IPO, the proposal of new anti-monopoly rules and an overhaul of fintech’s non-payment financial services. Even Ma’s e-commerce business Alibaba is facing scrutiny over accusations of monopolistic practices which also relies on Ant’s payment and lending platform.
In the latest move, Beijing has come at Ma directly and advised him not to leave the country, accordion to a Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources.
During his speech at the Shanghai summit, Ma criticized China’s financial industry calling out banks as «pawn shop» lenders and regulators as «old men» of the global banking community who did not understand the internet.
In addition to the increasingly low chance of an IPO revival by 2022, Ma’s wealth and influence have been curbed, the report added, though he «isn’t on the verge of a personal downfall».
Daily State Influence
Meanwhile, Ant’s top executives have been working closely with regulators and providing updates on nearly a daily basis, according to the report. A dedicated task force, led by the Financial Stability and Development Committee, was recently built and its members include the fintech giant’s chairman Eric Jing and CEO Simon Hu.
Recently, we at Ant Group have spared no effort in studying the 14th Five-Year Plan, and the government’s policy insights into financial security and financial stability, Jing said recently, signaling Ant’s desire for closer alignment with Beijing.
Ant will definitely continue to improve itself, enhance its sense of the big picture and its responsibilities, consciously integrate corporate development into the new development landscape and new regulatory environment, and respond to the requirements and expectations of the country and society with actions.
Originally published at Finews Asia