Since his speech criticizing the government in 2020, Jack Ma has almost completely disappeared from the public.
Bloomberg reports that Jack Ma has decided to give up control of Ant Group. This move shows that the billionaire is continuing to shrink his activities in the Internet empire he has worked so hard to build in the context of China’s unprecedented crackdown on the technology industry.
According to the announcement just released this morning (January 7), Ant will give 10 individuals (including founders, leaders and employees) the right to vote independently. This means that Ma no longer has control over Ant. Previously he held more than 50% of the voting power.
Since his speech criticizing the government in 2020, Jack Ma has almost completely disappeared from the public. Meanwhile, many other tech moguls in China have also given up their official positions and heavily donated to charity in line with President Xi Jinping’s vision of “common prosperity”.
As for Ant, after the cancellation of the popular IPO, this financial group focused on reform to match the views of the regulator. Ant has raised capital and implemented many measures to strengthen the cybersecurity of an ecosystem that has benefited directly from the huge customer base of the online payment platform Alipay.
With the change of control, Ant’s public offering will continue to be delayed. According to the law, companies are not allowed to list shares on the Class A stock market if there is a change of controller in the last 3 years. For Shanghai’s STAR Market, the number is 2 years and for Hong Kong’s it’s only 1 year.
Ma still has voting rights and economic interests in Ant. However, in a document filed with regulators in July, the company said Ma “intended to gradually reduce interests (both direct and indirect) in Ant” to no more than 8%.
The strict management policy that China has applied in recent years has caused the entire Internet industry to suddenly plunge despite its rapid growth before. Foreign investors are also affected. In particular, technology billionaires in particular and private enterprises in China, in general, are forced to change their strategies. In the past, they always prioritized growth at all costs.
Refer to Bloomberg