WASHINGTON—E-commerce billionaire Jack Ma will give up control of Ant Group, the leading Chinese financial technology provider he founded.
In a statement posted Friday, Ant Group said that after an ownership restructuring, “no shareholder, alone, or with other parties” will have “control over Ant Group.” The company is an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba, which Ma also founded.
The move follows other efforts over the years by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to rein in Ma and the country’s tech sector more broadly. Two years ago, the once high-profile Ma largely disappeared from view for 2.5 months after criticizing China’s regulators.
The regime at the same time also forced Ant Group to call off a highly-anticipated IPO that would have raised over $3 billion, just days before it was to launch.
“Jack Ma’s departure from Ant Financial, a company he founded, shows the determination of the Chinese leadership to reduce the influence of large private investors,” said Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research.
“This trend will continue the erosion of the most productive parts of the Chinese economy.”
Source: The Epoch Times