Chinese regulators have launched a strike against the billionaire Jack Ma’s empire. In the future, the financial service provider must take action against unfair competition and liquidity risks in its financial funds.

The happy times seem to be over: A beaming Jack Ma at a technology meeting in Paris in May 2019

Dhe Alibaba financial division Ant Group will have to reposition itself as a financial holding company and meet the strict requirements of a bank. In a new blow against the corporate empire of the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, the supervisory authorities ordered a comprehensive restructuring of the fintech star in Beijing on Monday, as reported by state media. The financial services provider, which also owns the large mobile payment service Alipay, must also eliminate unfair competition and liquidity risks from its financial funds.

Only at the weekend, China’s competition watchdogs imposed a record fine of 18 billion yuan (around 2.3 billion euros) on Alibaba. The largest online trading platform in the world has used its dominant position to force dealers to offer their goods exclusively through Alibaba, the market authority (SAMR) justified the move. It is the Chinese antitrust authorities’ highest penalty to date against an Internet company.

The problems for Alibaba began in the fall when the charismatic founder Ma criticized the tax authorities for holding back innovation shortly before the Ant Group’s planned IPO. The authorities then let the debut on the floor burst for a short time. It was supposed to be the biggest IPO of all time.