Shanghai and Hong Kong Halt Ant Group’s IPO after Regulators Talk with Jack Ma

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) both on Nov. 3 announced to halt the IPO process of Ant Group, a day after its founder Jack Ma and two other executives Eric Jing and Simon Hu, were summoned by regulators for talks. 

Four parties, including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, jointly initiated the talk with details undisclosed. 

According to SSE’s statement posted on its official website, Jack Ma, founder of the fintech giant, was called in for “a joint regulatory interview” while the company has been reported on “material matters including a change in the regulatory environment on financial technology.”

“Due to the material matters reported, your company may no longer meet the conditions for offering and listing, or the requirements for information disclosure,” the announcement read.

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Shortly after SSE’s issue, HKEX also suspended Ant Group’s concurrent proposed H share listing in Hong Kong. 

On Nov. 4, the next day of the dual-suspension, Ant Group publicly apologized to its fellow investors for any inconvenience the situation caused. The company also promised to “keep in close communication with the Shanghai Stock Exchange and relevant regulators.”

Ant’s parent company Alibaba’s shares took a huge dive of more than 9% in U.S. pre-market trading after the suspension news was released.