Jack Ma’s Ant Group to be financial holding firm in overhaul forced by China.
Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. will drastically revamp its business, bowing to demands from Chinese authorities that want to rein in the country’s fast-growing Internet giants.
Ant will now effectively be supervised more like a bank, a move with far-reaching implications for its growth and ability to press ahead with a landmark initial public offering that the government abruptly delayed late last year.
The overhaul outlined by regulators and the company on Monday will see Ant transform itself into a financial holding company, with authorities directing the firm to open its payments app to competitors, increase oversight of how that business fuels it crucial consumer lending operations, and ramp up data protections. It will also need to cut the outstanding value of its money-market fund Yu’ebao.