Ant issues self-disciplinary rules, CEO resigns

Ant Group CEO Simon Hu spoke at a fintech conference in September, 2020. Oriental Image via Reuters Connect

The CEO of China’s fintech giant Ant Group resigned today, months after the company’s IPO was halted amid increased regulatory scrutiny on fintech firms.

Hoping to appease regulators’ concerns over the systematic risks created by the fintech company, Ant on Friday also released a set of financial self-discipline rules. This is the first of such rules issued by a fintech company. Under the rules, Ant pledged (in Chinese) to be a “more responsible” fintech platform. The rules include provisions such as:

Ant’s leadership team is also getting a shakeup. Founder Jack Ma (马云 Mǎ Yún) has uncharacteristically stayed out of the spotlight for many months, and now its top executive has resigned.

Alibaba is also facing potential antitrust probes as the Chinese government continues to crack down on Jack Ma’s business empire.

Alibaba may also have a political problem. Beijing doesn’t want to “crush” Alibaba, which is popular both in China and among global investors, according to the Journal, but wants the group to “disassociate itself from its flashy and outspoken founder and align itself more closely with the Communist Party.”