The State Department recently recommended that the Trump administration add China’s Ant Group to a trade blacklist weeks before Alibaba’s subsidiary goes public on the stock market.

According to Forbes magazine, the move comes as part of the U.S. government’s determination to place restrictions on Chinese technology companies.

Ant Group, a financial technology company (fintech) owns the Alipay Digital payment platform. According to Forbes, the digital payment platform is about to go public with a double listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where it expects to raise $35 billion.

Meanwhile, the measure taken by the Trump administration comes at a time when officials known for using a hard line against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), are trying to dissuade U.S. investors from participating in the initial public offering of Ant.

Ant is China’s leading mobile payments company, offering loans, payments, insurance, and asset management services through mobile applications, Reuters reported.

The blow to the Chinese company comes just three weeks before the presidential elections in which President Trump has made the foreign policy platform for the CCP an important focus.

According to Reuters, while the platform is not available to U.S. users on American soil, an Ant spokesman said Trump administration officials fear that the CCP could access confidential banking data belonging to future U.S. users.

On Sept. 14, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) rejecting a proposed agreement between California-based Oracle and ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the popular TikTok application.

The letter sent by Hawley was intended to eliminate the access by the CCP to the data of its users in the United States, according to the New York Post. 

In 2018, the CFIUS stopped a $1.2 billion offer to buy the money transfer company Moneygram, arguing national security risks.

Reuters reported that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has asked the Trump administration on several occasions to continue investigations of the Chinese companies, last week asked the government to consider options for implementing a delay in the IPO (initial public offering) of Ant.

Chinese technology companies have been questioned by the U.S. government. Given indications that the CCP requires companies to share data with Chinese intelligence and surveillance agencies, compromising the information of thousands of users.

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