May 4, 2021 - World

Fidelity cuts Ant Group's valuation in half after Beijing cracks down

A photo of a building with a giant ant group sign.

Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The clouds still aren't parting for Ant Group, Alibaba's fintech arm, which has been caught up in a major antitrust push by China's regulators.

Driving the news: U.S. mutual fund Fidelity Investments halved its valuation of Ant after the Chinese regulatory crackdown, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Filings show Fidelity estimated the company's worth at $144 billion in February — down from a $295 billion valuation last August.

Details: Last November, regulators halted Ant's IPO, projected to be the largest in history, at the last minute, and Ant hasn't caught a break since.

  • They then slapped Ant parent company Alibaba with a $2.8 billion fine.
  • Ant was forced to restructure and spin out its products into different entities.

The big picture: China is seeking to avoid the structural economic problems monopolies have created in the U.S., while simultaneously looking to prevent companies from accruing enough power to challenge the Chinese Communist Party's decisions.

  • And China's Big Tech firms are trying to use the government's antitrust crackdown against each other, urging regulators to go after rivals.
  • But the "battle royale between companies could end up even further empowering the Chinese government, which already keeps a tight grip over online content," the New York Times' Li Yuan notes.

Go deeper: Antitrust scrutiny is a growing concern for China's Big Tech

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