Updated Nov 3, 2020, 01:33pm EST
The Shanghai Stock Exchange said Tuesday that it will suspend the initial public offering of Ant Group because of changes in the regulatory environment, Bloomberg first reported Tuesdayâ€”the sudden decision from Chinese regulators puts Ant Groupâ€™s record-breaking IPO in jeopardy.
Ant Group is the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, cofounded by billionaire Jack Ma.
On Monday, Ma met with Chinese officials to discuss the increased regulatory scrutinyâ€”including restrictions on capital and borrowing similar to bank requirementsâ€”Ant Group will face as it grows, Bloomberg reported.
Ant Group had been planning to raise a record-setting $34.5 billion in a joint listing on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.
It was scheduled to begin trading on both exchanges on Thursday, November 5.
The abrupt suspension of the listing is the latest development in the tense relationship between regulators that have sought to limit Ant Groupâ€™s exponential growthâ€”and the risks associated with that growthâ€”and Ma, who has criticized those regulators for quashing innovations in China.
â€œWe cannot regulate the future with yesterdayâ€™s means,â€ Ma said in a speech last month, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. â€œThereâ€™s no systemic financial risks in China because thereâ€™s no financial system in China. The risks are a lack of systems.â€
Ant Group is the owner of Alipay, a popular Chinese mobile payment app that had more than one billion active users as of June 2020. Alipay can be used in nearly every aspect of a userâ€™s financial life, including making purchases, borrowing money, investing, saving and even buying insurance. Alipay is also a popular option for businesses and more than 80 million merchants use the app in a single month.
Im a breaking news reporter for Forbes focusing on economic policy and capital markets. I completed my masterâ€™s degree in business and economic reporting at New York
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