China’s Ant Group must postpone its record-breaking IPO, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said Tuesday, as the fintech giant co-founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma faces growing pressure from Chinese regulators over potential risks.

The bourse decided to push back the US$34 billion listing originally set to take place in Hong Kong and Shanghai this week, citing concerns that Ant would “fail to meet the issuance and listing conditions or information disclosure requirements”, it said in a statement.

Jack Ma
Jack Ma. File photo: WTO/Jay Louvion, via Flickr.

The notice comes after Ma and other executives were summoned to an unusual meeting with regulators on Monday, while state media have recently issued warnings about potential financial instability that could result from Ant Group’s rapid growth.

The firm, which has more than 700 million monthly active users, helped revolutionise commerce and personal finance in China, with consumers using the smartphone app to pay for everything from meals to groceries and travel tickets.

But Ant’s lending, wealth management and insurance ventures have also prompted concern in China’s state-controlled finance sector.

The Shanghai bourse said on Tuesday that the company had itself “reported major issues such as changes in the fintech supervisory environment”, and that concern over these unspecified issues had prompted the postponement.

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