Jack Ma, the co-founder of the Ant Group and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA, has been summoned by China’s central bank and three other regulators for questioning, the Financial Times reported Monday.
What Happened: The People’s Bank of China, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Securities Regulatory Commission, and the State Administration of Foreign exchange have also posed questions to Ant Group Chairman Eric Jing and CEO Simon Hu along with Ma, according to FT.
A Chinese word, "yuetan," reportedly used by the regulators’ to describe the interview suggests the executives may have been reprimanded.
An Ant Group spokesperson acknowledged that Ma and other executives had met the regulators, as per FT.
“Ant Group will implement the meeting opinions in depth, and continue to follow the guidelines,” the spokesperson said.
Why It Matters: Ma had described the Ant initial public offering as the “largest in human history” at last month’s Bund Summit in Shanghai. The Alibaba co-founder had also made comments that were critical of the regulators and the country’s bankers at the same Shanghai event, noted FT.
The questioning of Ma comes ahead of Thursday's listing of Ant's shares on public markets. Last week, Ant’s bankers reportedly triggered a greenshoe option, increasing their offers after retail bids exceeded the value of the shares put on sale by more than 870 times — taking the financial services company's valuation past $316 billion.
Price Action: Alibaba Group shares closed nearly 2.1% higher at $310.84 on Monday and gained 0.63% in the after-hours session.
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