Feb 2, 2023
Ant Chairman Says China’s Support for Private Firms Remains
(Bloomberg) -- Ant Group Co. Chairman Eric Jing highlighted the support private companies are receiving from the government in a state-media report, emerging in public view following more than two years of regulatory crackdowns on the sector.
Jing stressed that “the country hasn’t changed its stance or level of support for the private economy,” and that the government expects platform companies to continue to create jobs and compete internationally, according to an interview with a newspaper in Ant’s home province of Zhejiang.
After keeping a low profile since the government torpedoed Ant’s initial public offering in 2020, the company has made headway in an overhaul to comply with regulatory demands. The Communist Party chief of Hangzhou, where Ant is headquartered, recently praised the company for following its leadership, marking a softening stance toward the financial technology giant that was once controlled by billionaire Jack Ma.
Ma said he was cutting his voting rights in the company down to just 6.2% last month, distancing himself further from the online empire he created.
Ant is awaiting a green light to apply for a financial holding company license that would ensure it can continue its fintech operations. In a sign of progress, regulators recently allowed the firm’s consumer lending affiliate to increase capital.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.