China’s Ant Group appoints new president in biggest reshuffle since regulatory revamp

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 5:55 AM

By Casey Hall

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Han Xinyi will become president of China’s Ant Group and some units of the financial technology company will set up their own boards of directors to operate more independently, according to a source who saw an internal email from Ant CEO and chairman Eric Jing on Tuesday.

Ant Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The organisational changes flagged in Jing’s email constitute the biggest shake-up in the Jack Ma-founded fintech group since it was fined $984 million by Chinese authorities last July.

That penalty, one of the largest fines for an internet company in China, drew to a close a years-long regulatory overhaul of the group.

Han will be responsible for Ant’s digital payments, digital connectivity and digital finance businesses and will report to Jing, the source said, citing the internal email.

Meanwhile, three divisions – Ant International, OceanBase, and Ant Digital Technologies – will set up respective boards of directors to become independently operated business units.

Ant operates China’s ubiquitous mobile payment app Alipay and in mid-2020, before its IPO was pulled, it was valued by some investors at more than $300 billion.

(Reporting by Casey Hall, Editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan)