Jack Ma appears to be getting ready to cede control of Ant Group to distance the fintech giant from his Alibaba tech group in the wake of growing regulatory pressure, based on a report published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Notably, Jack Ma owns 10% of Ant but controls the firm through various related entities. He now wants to cede this control by transferring voting rights to Ant executive, according to the Journal, citing sources.
For several years now, Ant has been in Chinese regulators’ crosshairs. In that context, a planned $37 billion IPO set to happen in late 2020 was derailed by moves meant to impose extensive restrictions on fintech companies entering the banking market.
Since then, the group has allegedly agreed on a restructuring plan with China’s watchdogs that will change the fintech into a financial holding firm subject to capital needs similar to those of the banks.Buy Bitcoin Now
With officials demanding that Alibaba and Ant cut their links ahead of this change, Ant has told regulators that Jack Ma plans to cede control.
This week, Alibaba posted its annual report, showing that Ant executives are no longer a part of the body that can nominate a majority of the tech company’s board.