China’s President Xi Jinping personally decided to pull the plug on Ant Group’s $37-B IPO (initial public offering), the WS-J reported Thursday, citing Chinese officials with the knowledge of the matter.
The decision to stop what would have been the world’s largest ever IPO, came days after the fintech giant’s billionaire founder of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Jack Ma launched a public attack on the country’s financial watchdogs and banks.
President Xi ordered Chinese regulators to investigate and effectively shut down Ant’s stock market flotation.
Mr. Ma had told a summit in Shanghai on 24 October that the regulatory system was stifling innovation and must be reformed to fuel growth.
The speech set off a chain of events that torpedoed the Ant listing, shocking the underwriters.
Soon after Mr. Ma’s scathing speech, Chinese state regulators started compiling reports including 1 on how Ant had used digital financial products like Huabei, a virtual credit card service, to encourage poor and young people to build up debt.
The general office of the State Council compiled a report on public sentiment about Mr. Ma’s speech and submitted it to senior leaders including President Xi, and he stepped on the flotation. Leaving no doubt as to who is incharge in China and Hong Kong.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!