Jack Ma to give up control of fintech giant Ant Group

Ant Group founder Jack Ma to give up control of the Chinese fintech after a regulatory crackdown. The company said that after the change no-one would have overall control.

Ant Group said in an announcement on Saturday that Ma would no longer be the “control person” who holds 34 percent of the company’s shares. Instead, he would be one of 10 major shareholders.

Ma previously possessed more than 50% of voting rights at Ant but the changes will mean that his share falls to 6.2%, according to Reuters calculations.

Ma only owns a 10% stake in Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK), but has exercised control over the company through related entities, according to Ant's IPO prospectus filed with the exchanges in 2020.

Ma's ceding of control comes as Ant is nearing the completion of its two-year regulatory-driven restructuring, with Chinese authorities poised to impose a fine of more than $1 billion on the firm.

The expected penalty is part of Beijing's sweeping and unprecedented crackdown on the country's technology organisations over the past two years that has sliced hundreds of billions of dollars off their values and shrunk revenues and profits.