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Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), offered to give Beijing parts of his financial technology firm Ant Group in order to repair his relationship with the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
What Happened: The previously-unreported offer was made by Ma on Nov. 2 as he was questioned by Chinese regulators and the central bank ahead of the mega Ant IPO.
“You can take any of the platforms Ant has, as long as the country needs it,” the Chinese billionaire is reported to have told the regulators.
Why It Matters: China’s President Xi Jinping personally asked regulators to look into the risks posed by Ant’s $34 billion IPO and to shut it down, the Journal had reported last month.
No decision has reportedly been made on Ma’s offer by the Chinese financial regulators but a plan under consideration may put Ant under tighter capital and leverage regulations.
“The odds of nationalizing at least parts of the company are not zero,” a Beijing-based government advisor said, as per the Journal.
Price Action: Alibaba shares closed nearly 1.7% lower at $260 on Friday.
Photo courtesy: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia
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