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Jack Ma’s Ant Group is embroiled in corruption by Chinese media

A Chinese journalist has reported that Jack Ma Ants’ group is committing fraud, which adds to the billionaire’s compulsion following a crackdown that has cost billions of dollars on its website.

China Central Television government records say the secret companies paid “huge sums of money” to the brother of the former Communist Party leader in Hangzhou, the eastern city of Ant Group, to support and support the government. and buying land.

According to public records and two sources close to the business, Ant Group bought two shares at the lowest price in Hangzhou in 2019 after participating in two of his party-funded mobile phone businesses mentioned in the press. .

Although the affidavit did not name Jack Ma’s company, Ant was the sole owner of a foreign business in one of these businesses, according to public records, and he was one of three people involved in a second business venture.

“The nature of such a voluntary transfer is the exchange of energy and money,” said the statement, which was prepared by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party. The material broadcast by Chinese radio represents the legitimate party.

The program has increased the pressure on Ants, as a fintech group with more than 1bn users they are difficult to repair his job is to comply with governmental requirements. Chinese authorities released a $ 37bn plug set by the company in 2020 and forced it to do so.

Last week, Ant faced difficulties in restructuring what the government is doing after the state treasurer came out of the union investing in fintech lending arm without explanation.

According to the report, Zhou Jiangyong, a former Hangzhou party secretary was arrested in August as a result of corruption, he helped unknown companies find cheap space and have good plans after buying shares in companies run by the younger brother of the chief executive, Zhou Jianyong.

Young Zhou, a former trade school professor, founded Youcheng United (Ningbo) Information Technology Development Co in 2016, winning agreements to build underground payment systems along the shores of Ningbo and Wenzhou lakes, according to records. At the time, his brother was the party secretary for these cities.

“He won the business because I was a government employee,” said Zhou, a former party secretary, referring to his brother in the document.

The ant got into several activities with little Zhou. Public records show Shanghai Yunxin Venture Capital Management Co., an Ant company, paid Rmb1.7m ($ 268,000) at a cost of 14.3% and a board chair at Youcheng United (Ningbo) in March 2019.

Towards the end of the year, Shanghai Yunxin spent Rmb1.4m ($ 221,000) buying a 13.5% stake in the Zhou junior underground payroll company and was featured in the literature, public records. Hangzhou also incorporates state-owned enterprises as an Investor.

Less than a year after Nyerere completed the second sale, the fintech team won a conspiracy to sell in Hangzhou for Rmb5,194 ($ 819) per square meter as the only qualified buyers, real estate history shows. The average house price in the area exceeds Rmb45,000 ($ 7,100) per square meter, according to the home-to-house websites.

In the article, the former brother of the party secretary said he pays a high price for his business.

“Of course, you know I’m Zhou Jiangyong’s brother,” Zhou Jianyong said in a statement. “You can imagine the price I raised. You want to take advantage of me. Shouldn’t I do the same for you?”

Ants’ group did not respond to a request for comment. The Financial Times could not reach Zhou’s brothers for comment.

“Ants’ rise and fall show the unequal relationship between business and politics in China,” said Nie Huihua, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing.

“It is still unknown as Ant and his e-commerce group Alibaba are battling political crisis, with Chinese President Xi Jinping taking over.”well ordinary”A campaign to reform business and politics in the country.

“Ants’ growth is strongly influenced by their ability to be favored by government officials,” said a person close to the fintech team. “This could pay off in value.”

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