Jack Ma won't be controlling Ant Group anymore

The founder of Ant Group, Jack Ma has decided to void his control over his company, Ant Group. According to the statement given by Ant Group, the company is going through structural changes as a part of which, no shareholder in the company will have major control over the company and all the decisions will be taken by the shareholders. The company said that the shareholders of the company will be voting independently to make decisions in the company. Back in 2020, Jack Ma heavily criticized the economic practices of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government in general. Since then, Jack Ma was rarely seen in public as he chose to stay remote during the COVID-19 days. This power change in Ant Group seems to be a sign of him trying to resolve his problems with the government. 

Jack Ma is admired by almost everyone for his business sense and his struggles to become the richest man in China. But in 2020, Jack Ma criticized the way the Chinese government was handling the banking sector in the country. Jack Ma attended the Bund Summit in October 2020, where in his speech, he said that the Chinese regulatory market fears innovation as it will expose their old ways of regulation. He further said that the Chinese government is still holding to their old cultural ways of doing business in the country and is treating it like a pawn market, although Ma had made these comments in a lighthearted way, the Chinese government did not take these comments lightly. 

This is because, during that time, Xi Jinping, the President of China, had decided to prevent monopolies in the country which would have allowed any company to expand uncontrollably in the country. This was exactly the case with Ant group or Ant Financial, who had acquired massive control over China's digital finance sector. Hence, Ma’s statement came as a direct criticism of Xi Jinping’s decision. Soon after this event, an investigation was launched by the Chinese antitrust regulator against the Alibaba group and Ant group. Alibaba Group was being investigated for forcing the sellers to exclusively sell their products on Alibaba. And the Ant Group was being investigated for violation of competition and consumer laws. 

Before this decision, almost half of the Ant Group was managed by Jack Ma through his shares and relations with the other shareholders in the company. Because of this, Jack Ma had complete control over every decision made by Ant Group. But with the new structural changes, Jack will be left with 6% control over the compact which is his equivalent to his shareholdings. This new structure will require the shareholders to vote independently for making decisions related to the company. This will be reducing the power which corporates may achieve through having complete control over the company, as feared by the Chinese regulators. In general, this has lowered Jack Ma’s control over the company, thus providing higher control to the Chinese regulators who were worried about Ant Group becoming a monopoly in the Chinese financial sector.