Jack Ma’s Ant Group manages to boost profits despite crackdown

of the billionaire posted a gradual rise in profits in the three months through December, despite setbacks from regulatory tightening around the country’s fintech industry.

The Hangzhou-based company contributed 7.28 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s profits, according to a statement Thursday. Based on Alibaba’s one-third stake in Ant, that translates to an estimated 22.05 billion yuan profit for Ant’s December quarter, or a 1.3% increase from a year earlier. Ant’s results lag a quarter behind Alibaba’s.

In March, Ant declared a dividend of around 3.9 billion yuan. But the shareholders, including dozens of employees, of two entities that owned 50.52% of Ant decided to keep the dividend within the companies to “better support the company as it moves forward in rectifying its business, and facilitating its sustainable development.” long term,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed response.

Jack Ma controls the voting rights in Ant.

China launched a campaign to rein in its tech giants after scrapping Ant’s $35 billion initial public offering at the end of 2020. The crackdown has intensified, turning into an attack on every corner of China’s technosphere as Beijing it seeks to end the dominance of a few heavyweights and create a more equitable distribution of wealth.

As part of the government-mandated restructuring, Ant increased its capital base to 35 billion yuan. It is also building firewalls in an ecosystem that once allowed it to direct traffic from Alipay, with a billion users, to services such as wealth management, consumer credit and delivery.

Consumer loans made jointly with banks have been spun off from Ant’s Jiebei and Huabei brands. Assets under management in its Yu’ebao money market fund – once the world’s largest – fell 15% from a year earlier to 825 billion yuan as of March.

Alibaba reported a better-than-expected 9% rise in revenue after Chinese consumers turned to online shopping malls for basic needs during COVID lockdowns across the country. The company decided not to present an annual revenue projection, citing uncertainty stemming from COVID restrictions.

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Jack Ma’s Ant Group manages to boost profits despite crackdown