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China authorities rein in fintech titan with squashed Ant IPO

Beijing puts a check on Jack Ma and protects its power over the financial market

Ant Group's Alipay platform processed $17.6 trillion yen in payments in the year through June.   © Reuters

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI -- The suspension of Ant Group's much-anticipated dual initial public offering has been chalked up to regulatory concerns, but a deeper unease about the tech company's growing role in the financial system appears to have weighed on authorities' minds.

On the morning after Tuesday's announcement, the gong that leaders of the Alibaba Group Holding spinoff would have struck to mark a likely record-breaking debut still sat in the trading hall on the fifth floor of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

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