Last week, in an odd turn of events, Alibaba has reportedly gotten itself under scrutiny for monopolistic practices. Ant Group, another company founded by Jack Ma, has also been called to participate in meetings “intended to drive home increasingly stringent financial regulations”. According to news reports, the meetings in questing involves asking the company to stick to its roots.
Ant started as a provider of payment services, similar to others like PayPal. But it has since expanded to also provide consumer loans and wealth management. And the People’s Bank of China is now asking the company to drop the two newer services. Though it stopped short of asking for the company to be broken up.
This would cap the growth potential of Ant Group, with the newer ventures being the ones with more potential to grow. The report cites the head of China financial research at Jefferies Financial Group. Shujin Chen, as saying that the online payments industry is already saturated in China. And that Ant’s market share there has reached its limit.
That’s the second blow in quick succession that Jack Ma has taken from the Chinese administration. For its part, Ant Group said in a statement that it will maintain its business operations for users while it works on complying with the authorities’ demands.