Chinese regulators ordered leading mobile payments firm Ant Group to overhaul major parts of its business and to adhere to the regulatory requirements as regulators intensify their scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in the internet sector of the country.
Chinese financial regulators ordered leading mobile payments firm Ant Group to overhaul major parts of its business and to adhere to the regulatory requirements as regulators intensify their scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in the internet sector of the country.
The move comes several days after financial regulators launched an investigation over Ant Group’s affiliate Alibaba over suspected monopolistic practices of the ecommerce giant.
People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said Ant Group has been involved in anti-competitive practices and defied standards of regulatory bodies. In a meeting with the executives of the digital payments firm, the bank also instructed the company to “rectify” its business practices.
Pan Gongsheng, the deputy governor of the central bank, accused Ant Group of “having little legal knowledge and turning a blind eye to compliance requirements,” adding that the company’s corporate governance structure is “unsound”.
Regulators from the securities, banking and foreign exchange also blasted Ant Group for edging out its rivals from the market place, jeopardizing consumer rights and exploiting the loopholes of regulatory policies.
Along with its order to overhaul Ant Group’s credit, insurance, and wealth management services, the country’s central bank also ordered the firm to “go back” and focus on its “original” payments services.
Ant Group then released a statement on Sunday, saying that it would do its best to cooperate with the regulators. It also said that it would form a working group to meet the necessary rectifications ordered by China’s central bank.
“We appreciate financial regulators’ guidance and help,” the firm said in a statement. “The rectification is an opportunity for Ant Group to strengthen the foundation for our business to grow with full compliance, and to continue focusing on innovating for social good and serving small businesses.”
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