BEIJING (Reuters) – Financial regulators in China urged Ant Group on Sunday to define a concrete plan as soon as possible to meet regulatory demands and fully understand the seriousness of the “correction” action it needs to perform.
The central bank, banking regulators, securities and foreign currencies urged Ant to correct illegal financial activities, including in the credit, insurance and wealth management business, and to regulate credit rating business to protect personal information, Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Pan Gongsheng said a day after he met with representatives of Fintech Group.
Ant said in a statement that she would form a “correction” working group and fully implement the regulatory requirements.
The state-backed Economic Daily said in a commentary that you should serve people’s needs, economic development, and assume effective corporate social responsibility.
Chinese regulators last month abruptly halted Ant’s planned $ 37 billion initial public offering, which was on track to be the largest in the world, just two days before it began trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
On Thursday, authorities said they had opened an antitrust investigation with parent group Alibaba and would summon Ant in the latest blow to billionaire Jack Ma’s empire for e-commerce and financial technology.
New demands from the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC), the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange include that Ant be more transparent about third-party payment transactions and not engage in unfair competition, and that its financial preparation be Ban said holding companies were bound by law to ensure capital adequacy.
The annual China Central Economic Work Conference, a gathering of senior leaders and policymakers to chart the course of the economy in 2021, pledged this month to boost antitrust efforts and curb “unorganized capitalist expansion.”
Ban said Ant should step up risk management and maintain continuity of its services and the normal operations of its business.
During the meeting, regulators pointed to You’s issues including corporate mismanagement, defying regulatory demands, illegal regulatory abuse, using its market advantage to pressure competitors, and harming consumers’ legal interests, he said.
(Prepared by Stella Qiu, Cheng Ling, Yili Sun, and Ryan Wu; Editing by William Mallard)