China forces large overhaul in company behind Alipay

China forces large overhaul in company behind Alipay

The Central Bank of China has ordered the Ant Group to make substantial changes to its policy. The company, which manages the Alipay payment platform, is said to violate financial regulations.

Regulatory authorities require Ant to change its business practices to stop breaking the rules, Reuters writes. This includes products such as credit, insurance and wealth management. The company is also urged to overhaul its credit rating business with more focus on protecting personal information.

To operate its personal credit business, Ant must first be fully licenced to do so, says Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China. Ant is now granting large enough loans to its customers to encroach traditional financial players’ core interests.

Initial public offering

Ant Group was founded as Alipay, a payment platform that is part of the Alibaba Group. The purpose of the platform is to simplify payment processes similarly to Apple Pay and Paypal. In 2014 the company changed its name to Ant Group and Alipay became a new company’s product.

In October, Ant was about to go public with an expected value of more than 30 billion dollars (25 billion euros). However, the Chinese authorities prevented this at the last minute after antitrust authorities announced an investigation into the allied company Alibaba.

This investigation was a direct result of Ant CEO Jack Ma’s public criticism of the Chinese regulations. According to him, the regulations would stand in the way of innovation.

Last month, China introduced a series of rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour by Internet companies. The country has announced that it will rein in on ‘disorderly capitalist expansion’.

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