Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has relinquished control of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s payments business, Ant Group. Voting rights will be split between the founder, management and employees, the company announced.
The new policy has no consequences for the “economic interests” of shareholders, he says. According to the news agency Reuters But he directly owns 10 percent of Ant. The Alibaba founder will also retain the voting rights, but they would drop from over 50% to around 6.2%, both calculated Reuters as a financial news agency Bloomberg.
Additionally, Ant is also adding an additional independent member to its board of directors. They are therefore now five and the majority.
But he disappeared from the spotlight more than two years ago after criticizing Chinese financial regulators. They torpedoed Ant’s $37 billion IPO in 2020 because they feared the company would pose a risk to the stability of China’s financial system. Since then, the group has reorganized.
Meanwhile, Ant would prepare a new IPO. The redistribution of voting rights means that a raise would be delayed. An IPO after a change of control is only possible after three years on the so-called Chinese A-share exchanges, after two years on the Shanghai Star Exchange and after one year on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.