The Chinese regime intends to penalize Jack Ma’s Ant Group with a $1 billion fine, continuing the regulatory crackdown that the giant fintech firm has suffered for the last two years. 

According to Reuters, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has already prepared the fine for the firm. 

The news outlet reported that PBOC has been in talks with Ant about the fine and the firm’s complete restructuring plans over the past months. The central bank plans to have more discussions with other authorities and announce the fine next year. 

Authorities will seek charges of Ant’s alleged violations for its “disorderly expansion of capital” and causing financial risks.

Shares of Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange fell 1.2% following the news.

In November 2020, the communist regime abruptly canceled its $35-billion initial public offering (IPO), which would have been the world’s largest IPO, after founder Jack Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators for stifling innovation.

Since then, Chinese regulators have closely supervised Ant’s businesses, forcing the firm to restructure its core payment processing business. It now becomes a financial holding company, operating under similar laws as banks.  

Last year, Beijing also imposed a record fine of $2.5 billion on its affiliate e-commerce giant Alibaba for antitrust violation charges.

As Hong Kong’s stock market plummeted to a record low last month, Alibaba’s stock reportedly lost around 77% in two years, wiping out $637 billion in market value. 

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who became China’s richest man as his stock price reached a high point in 2020, has now fallen out of the top 50 in the Forbes billionaire rankings. According to Forbes’ real-time ranking data, Ma is ranked 56th on the world’s wealthiest people list with $22.1 billion.

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