Thursday, February 2, 2023

Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group

by AFP

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will give up control as part of a restructuring of fintech firm Ant Group, the company announced on Saturday.

Ma, one of China’s most recognized entrepreneurs, leads a generation of technology tycoons in the Asian country, with an unusual career and a charismatic personality.

can read: Why Your First Job Is The Most Important, According To Alibaba’s Successful Founder

But the former English teacher fell out of the public eye after Beijing blocked Ant Group’s Hong Kong listing in 2020 following his scathing comments about government regulators.

The company announced on Saturday that “no shareholder, singly or jointly with other parties, will have control of Ant Group” after the adjustments are completed.

Ma “indirectly” controls 53.46% of Ant Group’s shares. After adjustment, it will hold 6.2% voting rights, the statement said.

The text states that the ten people – including the founders, management and employees – “shall exercise their right to vote freely”.

“This adjustment is made to further strengthen the stability of our corporate structure and the sustainability of our long-term growth,” he continued.

The agreement will not alter the economic interests of the shareholders.

Ant Group is the operator of Alipay, the world’s largest digital payments platform with hundreds of millions of monthly users in China and beyond.

Its IPO in Hong Kong, scheduled for 2020 and estimated at $34,000 million, was a record at the time.

Of interest: Jack Ma’s wonderful life message for Alibaba employees

The Communist Party launched a crackdown on the country’s tech sector at the time, targeting Ma, imposing fines over competition and personal data issues.

– suppression –

In a speech at a summit in Shanghai, the tycoon said banks operate with a “pawn shop” mentality and accused financial watchdogs of stifling growth.

Irritated, Beijing later hit out at Alibaba – the internet giant co-founded by Jack Ma that runs popular shopping platforms such as Taobao and Tmall – with a record fine of $2.75 billion for alleged unfair practices.

However, authorities may have less control, as they indicated in December that Ant had secured approval to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion).

An office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in the (southwest) city of Chongqing will allow the company to increase its capital from 8,000 million yuan ($1,171 million) to 18,500 million yuan ($2,708 million). December 30 information

News of the approval sent Alibaba surging nearly 9% in Hong Kong’s stock market, while other technology companies also weighed in on hopes that the crackdown in the sector could ease.

Alibaba’s latest earnings data for November showed a loss of 20.6 billion yuan ($3.894 billion) for the third quarter.

The company refrained from disclosing sales on the famous Singles Day for the first time.

Since Ant’s failed IPO, Ma has kept a low profile, marked by appearances at charity events and occasional stays abroad.

Nation World News Desk
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