Alibaba being investigated by China over monopoly tactics

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Last month, the Ant Group, which was previously called Alipay, was forced to halt its stock market listing, which would have been the world’s biggest launch.

Bank bashing

Regulators made the decision to block the IPO just days before the launch, after raising concerns about its micro-lending services.

But many believe the real reason behind the decision was a talk Mr Ma gave in late October that was critical of China’s regulators and banking system.

The billionaire said Chinese banks operated with a “pawnshop” mentality, and some feel he is paying the price now for those comments.

Since then, tough new antitrust rules have also been introduced across the tech sector and have triggered a decline of about $140bn (£103bn), or 17%, in the market value of Mr Ma’s Alibaba.

Ant clampdown

The meeting with the Ant Group is to “guide Ant Group to implement financial supervision, fair competition and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers”, a statement from the People’s Bank of China said.

Following notice by regulators, Ant said that it will “seriously study and strictly comply with all regulatory requirements and commit full efforts to fulfil all related work”.

The Chinese government has become increasingly concerned with parts of Ant’s sprawling empire, particularly its lucrative credit business.



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