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The Ant saga should teach Western investors a Chinese lesson

First published: 11-11-20

Two weeks ago Jack Ma, the Chinese entrepreneur and founder of the e-commerce giant, Alibaba, addressed a big financial conference in Shanghai. Responding to his host’s tongue-in-cheek introduction, he said: “I’m not throwing any bombs” — but then proceeded to do just that. He gave the equivalent of both barrels to China’s risk-averse financial regulators, and labelled China’s state banks, on which his business depends, “pawnshops” for their lending to only those that could post significant collateral. A week later, the authorities pulled what was to be the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO), of $37 billion of shares in his spun-off Ant Group in Shanghai and Hong Kong with 48 hours’ notice. Read on….