In the latest blow to the internet giant Jack Ma, on Sunday, China’s Central bank disclosed that it has asked Ant Group Co Ltd to restructure its lending and other consumer finance operations. This has come more than a month after the regulators suspended Ant’s initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai days after the antitrust authorities launched a probe into Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Regulators have urged Ant to rectify financial regulatory violations, including in its credit, insurance and wealth management businesses, and overhaul its credit rating business to protect personal information, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Vice Governor said.
Ant said in a statement it would establish a “rectification” working group and fully implement regulatory requirements.
Regulators pointed out Ant’s issues including its poor corporate governance, defiance of regulatory demands, illegal regulatory arbitrage, the use of its market advantage to squeeze out competitors, and harming consumers’ legal interests, according to Pan.
China also warned internet giants this month to brace for increased scrutiny, as it slapped fines and announced probes into mergers involving Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd.