March 25, 2023

Date: January 7, 2023 Time: 18:58:35

Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma has finally relinquished command of Ant Group post.

The group announced a readjustment to the voting rights structure on Saturday, diluting the power of founder Jack Ma to make the company more “transparent and diversified.”

With this step, deemed necessary in order to make its long-awaited initial public offering, Ant Group grants 10 people, including the founder, management and employees, independent voting rights. After incorporation, Ant’s major shareholders will “independently exercise their voting rights,” leaving no one in direct or indirect control.

“No shareholder, alone or together with another shareholder, shall have the power to control the outcome of Ant’s general meetings,” or “appoint a majority to Ant’s board of directors” and “therefore…have control over Ant” , the statement read.

Ant Group, which was created as a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is the operator of Alipay, China’s main electronic payment platform.

Its long-awaited listing in Hong Kong in 2020, which was to be the largest operation of its kind in history, was cut short at the last moment by a decision by the Chinese authorities, which decided to increase its regulatory scrutiny over the technology sector by alleged monopolistic practices and threats to national security.

Beijing’s move came shortly after Ma publicly criticized China’s financial bureaucracy, and the billionaire has since chosen to keep a low profile and generally avoid public comparisons.

Under pressure from regulators, Ant Group is in the process of distancing itself from Alibaba and reorganizing itself as an investment company that controls a series of subsidiaries in charge of different parts of its business.

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