When will Ant Financial have an IPO in China or Hong Kong?
Context. Tensions between China's president, Xi Jinping, and one of its wealthiest entrepreneurs, Jack Ma, escalated on November 3 when President Xi personally made the decision to suspend the IPO of Ant Financial (link in Chinese). Ant Financial uses big data harvested from its Alipay app -- one of China’s most ubiquitous mobile payment platforms -- to target users for financial services such as loans, credit, and insurance plans. Its IPO was anticipated to be the largest in history and bring the company’s market capitalization to over $300 billion.
The decision to postpone Ant’s IPO followed meetings between Chinese regulators and its executives, including Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba and Ant’s largest shareholder. Ma has previously criticized regulators for suppressing innovation in the fintech sector, and the government’s move to apply more stringent regulations is widely seen as a win for China’s state-owned banking sector.
Data and resolution details. This question resolves based on popular media sources. If an IPO in China or Hong Kong has not occurred by November 18, 2021, we will consider the correct answer "after November 17, 2021." In other words, the latest option includes the possibility an IPO never occurs in China or Hong Kong.
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