Beijing: Billionaire Jack Ma has relinquished control of Ant Group in a bid to restructure China’s largest fintech company and put it back on path for an initial public offering (IPO), the media reported on Saturday.
According to the South China Morning Post, Ma will end an “acting-in-concert pact” with Ant’s chairman Eric Jing, former chief executive Simon Hu and Alibaba Group Holding veteran Jiang Fang.
The pact had given Ma 53.46 per cent of the voting power in the fintech company, according to a company statement.
The overhauling of Ant Group’s shareholding structure dilutes the voting power of its founder Ma to make China’s largest fintech company more “transparent and diversified”.
In November 2020, the Chinese regulators forced Ant Group to axe its world record-setting $39.7 billion IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ma and other top executives were summoned to meet regulators.
The company said that after the restructuring, major shareholders of Ant “will independently exercise their voting rights”.
“No shareholder will, alone or jointly with another shareholder, have the power to control the outcome of Ant’s general meetings or nominate the majority of Ant’s board of directors and therefore have control over Ant,” the company informed.
Ma, who has gone into hiding after regulatory crackdown in China amid the massive Covid surge in the country, resurfaced in a short video on the New Year, citing ‘difficult’ and ‘extraordinary’ year to the rural teachers in the country.
The billionaire was last spotted in Tokyo, living a quiet and peaceful life amid the big tech crackdown in his home country.
Ma has largely disappeared from public view since he criticised Chinese regulators two years ago.