Beijing to break up Ant’s Alipay and force creation of separate loans app

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Beijing wants to break up Alipay, the 1bn plus-user superapp owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group, and create a separate app for the company’s highly profitable loans business, in the most visible restructuring yet of the fintech giant.

Chinese regulators have already ordered Ant to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei, which is similar to a traditional credit card, and Jiebei, which makes small unsecured loans, from the rest of its financial offerings and bring in outside shareholders. Now officials want the two businesses to be split into an independent app as well.

The plan will also see Ant turn over the user data that underpins its lending decisions to a new credit scoring joint-venture which will be partly state-owned, according to two people familiar with the process.

“The government believes big tech’s monopoly power comes from their control of data,” said one person close to financial regulators in Beijing. “It wants to end that.”

Read the full Financial Times article here:

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