According to sources close to the Ant Group IPO situation, Chinese regulators were trying to teach the Jack Ma a lesson over his scalding speech by targeting him.
Jack Ma’s Ant Group had been on the threshold of breaking the IPO debut with a record $34.5 billion deal. Suddenly, two days before it launched, the unveiling was stumped. Why? Yahoo News reports that it was some sort of vendetta against Ma.
He had given a controversial speech at a summit in Shanghai on 24th October 2020 where he scolded the Chinese regulatory policies. Ma had been quoted to have accused the body of stifling innovation. He added that the authorities ran it with a ‘pawnshop’ mentality.
The report claims that while his close associates were privy to the speech beforehand, there was nothing that could be done. They referenced his brash attitude, saying that he would speak his mind. Following the speech, Ant Group bore the brunt of the regulators’ anger.
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The FinTech company had started out as Ant Financial and Alipay but its steady growth into a mega money empire saw it assume a new identity. As of 2019, it had nearly 600 million users worldwide.
China’s President, Xi Jinping and other senior leaders allegedly received a compiled report from the general office of the State Council. This report was on the general public’s reaction to Jack Ma’s speech in Shanghai.
Thus, it eventually climaxed in Ant Group’s debut IPO being suspended. Meanwhile, concerned bodies such as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC); the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission; China Securities Regulatory Commission; the State Administration of Foreign Exchange; and the State Council Information Office have not issued a public statement on the matter.
Jack Ma had theoretically added $27 billion to his May 2020 net worth of $53 billion. However, with Ant Group’s IPO suspended until further notice, his worth will be taking a dive.
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