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But that wasn’t the only piece of news that led to the stock’s decline. Investors are also concerned that Beijing is intensifying its ongoing crackdown on big tech, after regulators ordered internet firms — including Alibaba and Tencent — to stop blocking rivals’ links on their platforms.
“Chinese regulators have already ordered Ant to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei, which is similar to a traditional credit card, and Jiebei, which makes small unsecured loans, from the rest of its financial offerings and bring in outside shareholders,” the paper said.
“Now officials want the two businesses to be split into an independent app as well,” it added, citing unnamed sources.
The regulators also want Ant to turn over the user data that underpins its lending decisions to a new credit scoring joint venture that will be partly state-owned, the report said.
Ant and the People’s Bank of China didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
No more blocking
On Monday, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ordered the country’s internet firms to end a long-standing practice of blocking rivals’ links on their platforms. The ministry said it will punish those who did not correct their actions within an unspecified deadline. It didn’t specify the punishments.
— CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed to this article.
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