China’s central bank fights Jack Ma’s Ant Group over control of data
By: Financial Times | April 23, 2021
The People’s Bank of China is trying to manage Ant Group’s vast consumer finance data, demonstrating the latest frontiers in Beijing’s crackdown on Jack Ma’s financial technology group.
Beijing wants to reduce the power of Ant Group and horses, China’s most famous entrepreneur. Most disappeared Since publicly criticizing state-owned banks and regulators in October, it has been in public. The company was forced to withdraw its $ 37 billion initial public offering, which is expected to be the largest in the world, the following month.
People’s Bank of China to Ant Turn the data overFor a state-owned credit scoring company run by a former central bank executive, one of Ma’s most valuable assets in the Internet empire, according to people close to negotiations.
The entity also serves other financial institutions, such as state-owned banks, that compete with the FinTech Group’s lending operations.
According to people near the group, Ant argued that it should lead the new company. “If there is too much government intervention, the industry will fall,” said one banker who has worked with Ant.
However, according to those familiar with central bank thinking, the PBoC believed that this would create a conflict of interest.
“The top priority is to make sure that the new business is fully regulated,” said one. “State involvement helps [the PBoC] Achieve that goal. “
In January, the PBoC issued a rule requiring Chinese companies to ensure government approval before providing personal credit ratings. Only three licenses are issued to state-controlled entities.
PBoC officials summoned Ant executives as follows: Meetings, meetings April 12th when the group was told to apply for a license. Ant then confirmed that it would.
Authorities also restructured the company Fines Alibaba, Ant’s sister e-commerce group, this month’s record $ 2.8 billion.
Banks have long complained that they have benefited from not being subject to the same strict regulations that Ant must comply with. The company has an overwhelming presence in China, with more than 700 million monthly users of mobile payment app Alipay.
Ant has evolved Consumer finance platformAs of the end of June 2020, the loan balance was RMB17 trillion ($ 262 billion), which is more than any bank in China. High-tech companies charge banks for loans issued on behalf of banks.
“There is no doubt that Ant’s credit data is of great value to banks,” said a former PBoC official.
Another person familiar with the idea of ??central banks said: The solution is [PBoC-approved] Credit reporting company. “
However, state management threatens Ant’s ability to collect and analyze information at the core of its business, including consumer lending.
“Ali is eager to retain its most valuable asset,” said a person familiar with the negotiations.
The central bank will release a report led by former vice-president Wu Xiaoling on Sunday to strengthen discussions with state-owned data companies.
Ant declined to comment.
The PBoC did not respond to the request for comment. Read Full Story »»» DiscoverGold