Alibaba’s Ant Group IPO Says It Will Be Detained By Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping personally decided to cancel Ant Group’s $ 37 billion initial public offering (roughly Rs. 2.76.2 billion rupees), the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing Chinese officials with knowledge of the affair.
The decision to stop what would have been the world’s largest IPO came days after the billionaire founder of the fintech giant. Jack Ma launched a public attack on the country’s financial institutions and banks.
President Xi ordered Chinese regulators to investigate and effectively shut down Ant IPO, the report said.
Ant did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. The Information Office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ma had said at a summit in Shanghai on October 24 that the regulatory system was stifling innovation and needed to be reformed to boost growth. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the speech set off a chain of events that torpedoed Ant’s list.
Shortly after Ma’s scathing speech, state regulators began compiling reports, including one on how Ant had used digital financial products like Huawei, a virtual credit card service, to encourage the poor and the young to accumulate debt.
The general office of the State Council compiled a report on public opinion on Ma’s speech and presented it to senior leaders, including President Xi, Reuters reported.