China’s Ant Group to become financial holding company


BEIJING: Ant Group will apply to set up a financial holding company, the fintech giant said on Monday in compliance with a joint rectification plan it made with Chinese regulators.
Chinese financial regulators have been working with Ant Group to make sure its financial activities meet regulatory standards since late last year.
Ant Group is the fintech arm spun out of Alibaba Group and the parent company of China’s largest mobile payments business Alipay. Launched in 2004, the group has evolved from a PayPal-like online payment business into a fintech empire covering various online banking and financing businesses.
Chinese authorities have warned it of monopoly and unregulated business expansion.
The company was summoned to another joint regulatory talk held by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Monday.
The talk echoes China’s anti-monopoly efforts and aims to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the platform economy, Pan Gongsheng, deputy head of the central bank, said in a Q&A statement released on Monday.
Since the joint regulatory talks with Ant Group in December last year, the company has established a work group to formulate rectification plans under the guidance of the financial management authorities.
On Monday, the financial management authorities again jointly interviewed the relevant company personnel, requiring the company to face the serious problems in financial business activities, strictly carry out the rectification work, better serve the real economy and the people, actively respond to the national development strategy and increase financial technology innovation, Pan said.
Pan said they discussed rectifying unfair competition in the payment business, breaking the information monopoly, applying to become a financial holding company and accepting supervision, rectifying violation of regulation in financial activities, and controlling the liquidity risk of the important fund products.
Ant Group said on its official WeChat account that it will use the rectification as an opportunity to reinforce its commitment to serving consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Ant Group attaches great importance to the seriousness of the rectification. Under the regulators’ guidance, and in accordance with regulatory requirements, Ant Group has completed the formulation of our rectification plan,” it said in the statement.
The company said it will set up a personal credit reporting company and apply for a personal credit reporting license. Jiebei and Huabei, Alibaba’s affiliated consumer lending units, will be operated by Ant Group’s consumer finance company.
–The Daily Mail-CGTN
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