Four Chinese regulators, led by the People’s Bank of China, invited Jack Ma, the founder of the fintech company Annette Group, and two other senior executives at the organization for questioning ahead of the company’s huge IPO. The poll comes days before the giant IPO of Annette Group, which will take place on Thursday this week on stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Annette will raise at least $ 34.4 billion in what will become the largest IPO in history.
Annette is the leading mobile payments company in China and operates a huge financial supermarket for the purchase of insurance, loans and investment products.
A brief statement issued today (Monday) by Chinese regulators in charge of banks, capital markets and foreign exchange said they “held regulatory interviews with controlling shareholder Bant Group Jack Ma, Chairman Eric Jing and CEO Simon Hu.” The purpose of the conversation was not clarified. A spokesman for Annette Group said the company would fully implement the ideas from the meeting.
The summons comes at a time when China is considering further tightening of regulation on lending by banks through fintech entities like Annette Group, for fear that these will hurt the stability of the financial system. As a result of the tightening of regulation in recent years, Annette was forced to change her business model and stopped borrowing money from her balance sheet. Annette currently cooperates with banks and financial entities, which take the financial risks on them, but it is still Annette who sorts the loan applications with the help of artificial intelligence-based tools.
Last week, Ma attacked regulators in China and around the world over outdated banking system oversight. “China has no systemic financial risk,” Ma said. “China has no financial risk, the risk comes from the lack of a system.”
“Banks today continue to operate in the mentality of a pawnshop, demanding collateral and guarantees,” Ma added. Annette is trying to implement more sophisticated methods for credit risk assessment and allows users to get loans quickly and automatically without collateral.
Despite the regulatory risks threatening Annette Group and other Chinese fintech companies, Annette’s huge issuance has attracted tremendous demand from customers reaching $ 3 trillion. Most of the demand came from the Chinese public and among Chinese private customers the demand for Annette Group shares exceeded the supply 872 times.