Ant Group IPO Might Go On With Points Mounted: PBOC Governor

An Ant Group logo is pictured at the company’s headquarters, a subsidiary of Alibaba, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on October 29, 2020.

Aly Song | Reuters

GUANGZHOU, China – Ant Group’s IPO could resume if the company solves its problems, the governor of China’s central bank said Tuesday.

The Ant Group IPO, which would have been the largest in history, was carried out by regulators just days before trading began in Shanghai and Hong Kong in November.

At the time, the Shanghai Stock Exchange announced that the Ant Group had reported “significant issues, such as the changes in the regulatory environment of financial technology,” which had resulted in it potentially breaking listing rules.

The IPO’s suspension also came shortly after Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, which owns around a third of the Ant Group, made some comments that were critical of China’s financial regulator.

During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Yi Gang, Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), described the situation as a “complicated subject” and stressed that the process was “regulated by law” and that its procedure must be “legal.”

The Ant Group has to deal with issues like user privacy, Yi added.

“I would say this is a process and … once the problem is resolved it will come back on track to continue legal deliberation,” said Yi.

When asked if this would lead to an IPO, Yi said the Ant Group should “simply follow the standard of legal structure that will get you the result”.

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