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Ant introspecting after $35 bn IPO collapses

Ant introspecting after $35 bn IPO collapses

Hangzhou-based Ant is sparing no effort in studying China's 14th Five-Year Plan, an important government guidance, and policy insights into financial security and financial stability, Jing added.

China has seen its share of public apologies from fallen billionaires and national champions. Following a smack from commerce regulators in 2015, Ma pledged to improve his fight against counterfeit goods proliferating on Alibaba's platform.

In 2018, TikTok owner Bytedance Ltd. shuttered one of its breakout hits, a seemingly harmless app that collated jokes, but that were deemed too off-color. The same year, Tencent Holdings Ltd. was shamed for its video gaming empire - the world's largest -- after Xi Jinping's government blamed addictive blockbusters like 'Honor of Kings' for myopia among youth.

Ant's current challenges stand out given the amount of global investor attention the company has attracted. The IPO now faces only a slim chance of being revived next year, people familiar with the matter have said. The regulatory challenges facing Ant include capital and licensing requirements, a cap on loan rates and limits on its use of asset-backed securities to fund quick consumer loans.

"Everyone's had a wake up call," said Mark Tanner, managing director of Shanghai-based marketing and research consultancy China Skinny. "Of all the regulatory hurdles, this is the biggest by a long shot."

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