The Strategist

Chinese authorities call on state-owned companies and banks to check their ties to Ant Group

02/23/2022 - 04:23

Alibaba Group shares plunged more than 4% to an all-time low of HK$108.9 February 22, after Bloomberg reported a new round of government pressure on the company.

The country’s authorities have instructed the country's largest state-owned firms and banks to re-examine their financial relationships with Ant Group, Alibaba’s related copany, according to the agency.

"Numerous authorities, including the banking regulatory authority, recently warned banks under their supervision to scrutinize all of their links with Ant, its subsidiaries, and even its shareholders," according to sources. The organizations should disclose the results of the inspections to the authorities as soon as possible.

The Chinese government has been putting pressure on Alibaba for nearly a year and a half. Ant Group was planning an initial public offering on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges in November 2020. 

However, a few days before trading began, regulators summoned Jack Ma for interrogation, and Ant Group's IPO was postponed indefinitely. According to media accounts, the decision was made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not like the fact that Jack Ma had often criticized Chinese authorities.

Chinese authorities issued a warning to 34 of the country's largest technology businesses, including Tencent, ByteDance, Baidu,, and others, in April 2021, requesting that "anti-competitive behaviors" be abolished within a month to avoid "a repeat of the past."