Ant Group, as per news agency Reuters report, is looking for ways for founder Jack Ma to divest his stake and give up control in the fintech firm. Ma owns only a 10% stake in Ant but exercises control via related entities, as per Ant’s IPO prospectus. Chinese regulators, in a meeting earlier, had hinted to the Ant’s officials that Ma’s exit could help them to avoid Beijing’s intense scrutiny of its business, said the report citing a source.
The Chinese government has imposed a record $2.75 bn fine on Alibaba Group after the authorities found the internet giant guilty of abusing its dominant market position for several years. The fine is about 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 China revenues. Alibaba’s empire has come under intense scrutiny in Bejing after the founder Jack Ma’s stinging public criticism of the country’s regulatory system in the month of Oct.
The Tata group is acquiring 68 % stake in online grocery platform BigBasket for around ₹9,500 cr as it bids to expand in the fast-growing e-comm space in India. The deal provides an exit route for a host of investors of BigBasket, including Chinese billionaire Jack Ma-controlled Alibaba. Tata group’s acquisition puts the enterprise value of BigBasket at over ₹13,500 cr. The move comes at a time when the group is working to develop a super app in the world’s second-largest internet market.
Jack Ma resurfaced after over two months out of public view while Chinese regulators ruined Ant’s $35 bn IPO, tightened regulations, ordered an overhaul and launched an antitrust probe into Alibaba. Ma participated in an online ceremony of Rural Teacher’s Initiative, his first after Oct 24 when he was last seen in public. While still unclear about where Ma was, Beijing pursued investigations into Ant and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Chinese tech billionaire and the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, had criticized financial regulators and state-run banks for hampering opportunities, angering the Chinese government. Thereafter, Ma was nowhere to be seen for two months. He also vanished from his own talent show, excusing it to be a schedule conflict. Ma received advises of staying in China till the anti-monopoly investigation was launched and also to scale back his Ant Group fintech company.