The Chinese government has instructed the primary payment service provider Ant Group to become a financial holding company (holding company).
As a result, Ant Group is more regulated like a bank, with much stricter government supervision.
Beijing had been restraining Ant Group for some time. For example, billionaire Jack Ma’s company was previously told to stop providing consumer credit and asset management services. According to Beijing, the subsidiary of online store group Alibaba, which also comes from Ma, should only focus on payment services, such as the payment app Alipay.
At the beginning of November, the Chinese authorities unexpectedly blocked Ant Group’s mega stock exchange. The financial services company wanted to raise nearly $ 35 billion in Shanghai and Hong Kong’s stock markets, making it the largest IPO ever.
At the time, it was pointed out to changes in regulations without explaining this further. It was already known that regulators had problems because Ant Group as a financial services provider, was not subject to the same strict rules as banks.
This weekend, China imposed a fine of 2.3 billion euros on Alibaba. The fine was imposed because of monopoly practices by Alibaba, which is also coming under closer scrutiny by the authorities.