Dec 27, 2020 - World

China orders Jack Ma's Ant Group to overhaul its business

Ant Group founder Jack Ma attends the 2017 Global Women Entrepreneurs Conference.

Ant Group founder Jack Ma during a conference in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang Province, China. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Image

China's central bank announced Sunday it ordered Ant Group, controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, to follow regulations, revamp lending and other consumer finance operations and "return to its roots" of online payment services. Ant said it plans to comply.

Why it matters: The action against the world's largest financial technology firm marks the latest move by Chinese officials to knee-cap Ma's empire. Ant's plans to raise what would've been the largest global IPO were ditched in November after regulators said more regulation was needed. Chinese officials opened a monopoly investigation last Thursday into Alibaba Group, which Ma co-founded.

Go deeper