Beijing wants to break up Alipay, the 1bn plus-user superapp owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group, according to the Financial Times.
China wants to create a separate app for the company’s highly profitable loans business, in the most visible restructuring yet of the fintech giant.
Kyle Rodda of IG: “The sense right now, in an outlook for the short-term that appears to be becoming consensus, is that the global growth story is at an impasse, limited by the pandemic supply shock, as raising costs for businesses simultaneously limit economic activity as well as policymakers’ ability to address marginally weaker growth. That macro fear in broader markets has been compounded by regional issues today surrounding China’s reform of its private sector, with news this that Chinese authorities will break-up Ant Group’s Alipay stoking anxiety about the extent of China’s restructuring of its economy, as it too slows.”
Jeffrey Halley of OANDA agrees that the clampdown is adding to market jitters: “Typhoon Chanthu is bearing down on Shanghai, forcing the closure of schools, ports and flight cancellations and may mute activity on Mainland markets today. Grabbing attention, though, is a Financial Times story stating that China’s government intends to break up Alipay, owned by Ant Group.
“Shares in Alibaba Group Holdings, listing in Hong Kong, have opened substantially lower, taking the Hang Seng with them. As I said last week, buying the dip in China equities in this environment remains akin to catching a very sharp falling knife.”