US should try to delay Chinese ant group IPO, says Senator Rubio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Marco Rubio, who has successfully urged the Trump administration to investigate Chinese companies, called on the US government on Friday to consider options to delay China’s ant group’s initial public offering, Which is the last branch of Chinese e. -Commerce veteran Alibaba.

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo during Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) hearing on the State Department’s 2021 budget in the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on July 30, 2020, in Washington, DC, US, on the State Department’s 2021 budget. Asked a question Via Greg Nash / Pool REUTERS / Files

“It is outrageous that Wall Street is rewarding the Chinese Communist Party’s blatant action on Hong Kong’s independence and autonomy by orchestrating Ant Group’s IPOs on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges,” Rubio, a Republican, told Reuters in a statement said in.

“The administration should take a critical look at the options available to delay the Ant Group’s IPO,” he said.

The Hong Kong leg of the IPO is part of dual listings in Shanghai and Hong Kong, being sponsored by China International Capital Corp, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. Credit Suisse is working as a joint global coordinator. Goldman Sachs is also involved.

Ant declined to comment on Rubio’s comments, but said its business was primarily in China and is excited about the growth prospects there.

It was not immediately clear how the US government could postpone the listing of a Chinese company overseas. But Rubio’s remarks are a sign of increasing pressure among China’s hardliners in Congress, in the administration and elsewhere, on this month’s list before President Donald Trump approves the ant.

Fear of offering up to $ 30 billion, exposed scores of frauds from American investors. Others fear it may give the Chinese government access to sensitive banking data related to US citizens.

“These digital payment systems are the source of well-established national security concerns, and the Trump administration should move to protect the sensitive financial data of American users as quickly as possible,” Republican Rep. Jim Banks said in a statement Administration should ban the company.

Ant is China’s leading mobile payment company, which provides loan, payment, insurance and asset management services through mobile apps. Located in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Ant is 33% owned by Alibaba Group Holding Limited and controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

Ant’s Alipay payment platform, such as Tencent’s WeChat’s platform, is used primarily by Chinese citizens with accounts in Renminbi. Most of its American interactions are with merchants accepting payments from Chinese travelers and businesses in the country.

An anti-China advocacy group known as the Committee on Current Threats: China, whose membership includes hedge fund manager Kyle Bais and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, wrote a letter to Trump last month calling the company a There was a call for inclusion in Trade Black. IPO to list and delay.

“We believe that the IPO should, at a minimum, delay to ensure that … the disclosures are made honestly and properly assessed, as regretfully, a substantial portion of the IPO’s proceeds must be fixed. Retail investors will end up in investment portions of millions of people, ”the group said in the letter, September 14.

The company could become the latest victim of a years-old technology battle between Beijing and Washington that has kept the Trump administration on track, ranging from theft of intellectual property such as giant Huawei and surveillance camera maker Hikvision to violations of sanctions. Human rights violation

Rubio was the first call for an investigation into the publicly popular Chinese-owned social media app TikTok by a powerful National Security Committee, which reviewed it. The Trump administration eventually banned the app, but a pending review of a court-imposed injunction has prevented the ban from going into effect.

Reporting by Alexandra Elper; Editing by Sonya Hepvist and Leslie Adler