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Ant Group’s record-breaking IPO has been suspended

The extraordinary move comes after Alibaba founder Jack Ma was summoned to a meeting with Chinese regulators.

Ant Group’s record-breaking IPO has been suspended
Ant Group founder, Jack Ma [Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images]
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Ant Group’s record-breaking dual IPO has been halted.

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The extraordinary move comes after Ant executives—along with Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who controls the fintech giant—were summoned to a meeting yesterday with Chinese regulators. While the IPO had initially been given the all clear, regulators have since determined that Ant Group may no longer qualify for a listing due to “information disclosure requirements” that it failed to meet, CNBC reports.

The company was due to start trading this week on Shanghai’s tech-oriented STAR Market along with a separate listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The latter listing has also been suspended.

It’s unclear if the regulatory issues can be worked out or what exactly triggered the suspension.

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Reached for comment, an Ant Group spokesperson referred Fast Company to a statement in which the firm indicated that it was focused on rectifying the matter. “We will keep in close communications with the Shanghai Stock Exchange and relevant regulators, and wait for their further notice with respect to further developments of our offering and listing process and disclose in a timely manner,” the statement said.

Ma criticized global financial regulations in a controversial speech in Shanghai last month, taking aim at banking supervision rules for what he described as an outdated focus on risk control.

Ant Group, the parent company of Alipay—the world’s largest digital payments platform—was expected to raise $37 billion for the IPO, which would have made it the biggest market debut in history.

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U.S. shares of Alibaba Group were down about 8% in early trading on Tuesday morning.

This post has been updated with Ant Group’s statement.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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