Ant Group chiefs are stepping down as Alibaba partners amid regulatory scrutiny

Ant Group Co. is headquartered in Hangzhou, China, on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

Kelay Shane | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Several Ant Group executives have resigned as partners in a subsidiary Ali Baba As the two Chinese tech giants try to distance themselves from each other amid regulatory scrutiny from Beijing.

Seven executives including CEO and Chairman Eric Jing and chief technology officer Xingjun Ni are no longer part of the Alibaba partnership as of March 31, according to the e-commerce giant’s annual report published Tuesday.

Simon Hu and Shuai Wang, two Alibaba executives, have retired and are no longer part of the partnership.

The Alibaba Partnership was created in 2010 as a way to preserve the culture envisioned by the company’s founders. They include Alibaba founder Jack Ma as well as current Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang.

Alibaba recently changed the rules so that employees of affiliate companies cannot be partners.

Ant Group is a subsidiary of Alibaba in which the e-commerce giant owns 33%. Ant Group operates the Alipay mobile payments wallet in China.

But it has been trying to separate itself more from Alibaba since its initial public offering – which would have been the largest in the world – suspended in november 2020 After the regulators pointed out the concerns.

A spokesperson for Ant Group said the partnership changes “are part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen corporate governance.”

Since the stalled initial public offering, Ant Group has had to carry out reforms under the supervision of the Chinese central bank. Ant Group is currently trying to restructure into Financial holding company.

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According to the annual report, Alibaba will also stop receiving some preferential terms as part of an agreement with Ant Group. The two companies will terminate the existing data-sharing agreement.

Instead, they will negotiate the terms of the data-sharing arrangements on a case-by-case basis and “as permitted by applicable laws and regulations,” according to the annual report.

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