Jack Ma’s Empire in Crisis After China Halts Ant Group IPO

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Jack Ma’s Empire in Crisis After China Halts Ant Group IPO” – below is their description.

    When Jack Ma took to a Shanghai conference stage in October, China’s most famous entrepreneur was on the brink of pulling off an unprecedented $35 billion initial public offering for the finance juggernaut he co-founded two decades earlier. Ant Group Co.’s listing would value the company at more than $300 billion and swell Ma’s own fortune beyond its already blistering $61 billion, cementing his position as the nation’s richest man.

    Ma, a co-founder of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest company, told the audience that day at the Bund Summit that he was torn about speaking, but felt this was a “most critical” moment in the development of finance. What followed was a 20-minute roasting of anachronistic government regulation that would suffocate innovation in China. It was a vintage performance by the famously outspoken executive, known for his confident swagger and soaring rhetoric. But this time, like Icarus after he flew too close to the sun, Ma has found himself quickly brought back to earth.

    Since September, China’s government has launched a coordinated regulatory crackdown, which in November scuttled the Ant public offering and, together with tough new antitrust rules, triggered about a $140 billion, or 17%, decline in the market value of Ma’s Alibaba.

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    In This Story: Jack Ma

    Jack Ma, or Ma Yun, is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.

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  • In This Story: Shanghai

    Shanghai, on China’s central coast, is the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers and ponds.

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