Hu, CEO of Ant Group in China, closes due to a regulatory-driven renewal

Ant Group Chinese CEO Simon Hu has resigned from its role, the company said Friday, as the financial tech giant was prompted by regulators to review its business after its failed $ 37 billion initial public offering.

Hu, who was named CEO of Alibaba Group Holding’s subsidiary in 2019, will be replaced by company veteran and executive chairman Eric Jing, Ant said. On Friday, US-listed shares of billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba fell 2.6% in pre-market trading.

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Jing will continue in his current role as president, he said in an internal note seen by Reuters. Hu resigned for personal reasons, Ant said in a statement, without elaborating.

Hu’s exit from The company comes as Ant is working on plans to move to a financial holding structure following intense regulatory pressures to subject them to banking-like rules and capital requirements. That pressure scuttled Ant’s IPO last year, which would have been the largest in the world, and saw plans formulated to move to a financial holding structure.

The takeover also comes days after some Ant employees expressed frustration on social media at not being able to sell the company’s stock they own after Chinese regulators abruptly ended the company’s market debut. Jing told Ant employees that the company would review its staff incentive programs and initiate some measures from April to help solve their financial problems, according to two people who saw the messages.

Ant’s listing last November would have made some of the company’s employees millionaires or billionaires. The CEO’s exit is the first major management change since the IPO shutdown. Hu was one of the key executives responsible for managing the company’s mega double listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Ma’s business empire was at the center of a crackdown after an Oct.24 speech in which it blew up China’s regulatory system. Since then, regulators, in addition to dealing with Ant, have tightened antitrust scrutiny over the country’s tech sector, with Alibaba taking much of the heat. The market regulator launched an official antitrust investigation into Alibaba in December.

But, which is not known to have pulled back from the limelight, have disappeared from public attention for about three months, causing frenzied speculation as to where he was. He resurfaced in January in a 50-second video appearance.

(This story has not been edited by our team of editors and is generated from a feed.)

News Highlights:

  • That pressure scuttled Ant’s IPO last year, which would have been the largest in the world, and saw plans formulated to move to a financial holding structure. The takeover also comes days after some Ant employees expressed frustration on social media at not being able to sell the company’s stock they own after Chinese regulators abruptly ended the company’s market debut.
  • Hu, CEO of Ant Group in China, closes due to a regulatory-driven renewal