Jack Ma, founder and former chief executive of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will cede control of fintech company Ant Group as part of a restructuring, the company said on Saturday. Recently, the communist regime in Beijing has stepped up its attacks on big firms in this sector.
Jack Ma, one of China’s most famous businessmen, was a “self-made” symbol for a generation of Chinese tech moguls, with his atypical personal experience and sense of spectacle. But the former English teacher withdrew from the public eye after Beijing blocked Ant Group’s proposed IPO in Hong Kong in 2020 following his scathing comments about government regulators.
The company announced in a statement on Saturday that it is adjusting its ownership structure so that “no single shareholder, alone or jointly with other parties, has control of Ant Group.” “indirectly” controlled 53.46% of the shares. According to the information contained in the statement, after the adjustment, he will own only 6.2% of the voting rights.
“This adjustment is being made to further strengthen the stability of our corporate structure and the sustainability of our long-term development. »
Record fine of $2.75 billion
The ten people, including the founder, management and staff, “will exercise their voting rights independently,” the company said in a statement. The adjustment will not change the economic interests of shareholders. Ant Group’s planned IPO would have been a world record at the time, and its devastating delisting came as Jack Ma’s other business interests came under official scrutiny.
Beijing also fined Alibaba a record $2.75 billion for alleged bad faith practices. In a sign that the noose may now loosen, authorities said last month that Ant Group had received permission to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for its consumer credit arm.
According to the December 30 notice, the company may soon increase its registered capital from eight billion yuan to 18.5 billion yuan. News of the approval sent Alibaba’s stock up nearly 9% in Hong Kong square, while other tech companies were also buoyed by hopes that crackdown on the sector could be eased.