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Business / Politics / Technology

WSJ: China’s Ant Group plans revamp amid regulator pressure

WSJ: China’s Ant Group plans revamp amid regulator pressure
FILE PHOTO - A logo of Ant Group is pictured at the headquarters of the company, an affiliate of Alibaba, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 29, 2020. REUTERS-Aly Song-File Photo

China’s Ant Group Co Ltd is planning to refashion itself as a financial holding company under the supervision of China’s central bank in the face of regulatory pressure, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has submitted an outline of a restructuring plan, which could be finalised before China goes into the week-long lunar new year holiday in mid-February, the Wall Street Journal said, citing sources.

Chinese regulators had asked Ant to consider folding up most of its financial businesses into a holding company that would be subject to more stringent capital requirements, two sources told Reuters in December.

The country’s central bank, People’s Bank of China, has said Ant controls a range of financial institutions, including securities and insurance firms, and should set up a holding firm according to law.

Chinese regulators in November abruptly halted Ant’s $37 billion initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which was set to be the world’s largest.

Ant and Alibaba were not immediately available for a comment.

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