Ant Group explores ways for Jack Ma to exit
Ant Group is exploring options for founder Jack Ma to divest his stake in the financial technology giant and give up control, as meetings with Chinese regulators signaled to the company that the move could help draw a line under Beijing’s scrutiny of its business, according to a source familiar with regulators’ thinking and two people with close ties to the company.
Officials from the central bank, People’s Bank of China, and financial regulator China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission held talks between January and March with Ma and Ant separately, where the possibility of the tycoon’s exit from the company was discussed, sources said.
Ant denied that a divestment of Ma’s stake was ever under consideration. "Divestment of Mr. Ma's stake in Ant Group has never been the subject of discussions with anyone," an Ant spokesman said in a statement.