China says measures applied to Ant Group to be imposed on other payment firms

BEIJING – China’s central bank said on Thursday (July 8) that anti-monopoly measures applied to e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial technology affiliate Ant Group will also be imposed on other service companies.

China suspended the planned US$37 billion (S$50 billion) listing of Ant Group in November last year.

There has been growing concerns over banks using third-party technology platforms like Ant for underwriting loans amid fears of defaults and a deterioration in asset quality.

Chinese regulators, led by the central bank, in April imposed a sweeping on the fintech giant, forcing it to turn itself into a financial holding firm, and to cut links between its payments app Alipay and its other businesses.

“Monopolistic behaviour does not only exist in the Ant Group, but also in other institutions,” said People’s Bank of China vice-governor Fan Yifei, told a media conference in Beijing.

Mr Fan added that measures will be revealed soon, without further elaboration.

He said the speed of development of China’s industry is “rapid” over the past few years, but at the same time, there are “monopoly and excessive capital expansions during (its) development”.

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