Daily Management Review

Chinese authorities block Ant's IPO after investigating its possible beneficiaries


China has blocked the IPO of billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group after an investigation revealed the likely beneficiaries of the company's flotation.

Among them were so-called Chinese "princes", descendants of top Communist Party of China (CPC) leaders linked to former head of state Jiang Zemin and political clans competing with Xi Jinping for power, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has revealed.  

Resuming preparations for an IPO is not on the agenda of Chinese authorities, a Chinese official told the paper. 

According to the newspaper, weeks before the Chinese fintech giant planned to go public, the Chinese government conducted an investigation into the company's complex ownership structure. 

More than a dozen officials in China told the publication that Beijing's concerns about Ant's complex ownership structure and the people who would benefit most from the company's flotation were one of the key reasons for cancelling the IPO. 

According to officials familiar with the outcome of the investigation, it revealed that Ant's co-owners include members of China's political clans who pose a threat to the power of head of state Xi Jinping and his inner circle. 

The IPO, which could have valued the company at $300 billion, could have resulted in billions of dollars not only for Jack Ma and Ant's top managers, but also for the owners of the company's stakes. 

source: wsj.com